Air Fryer Fried Dilled Zucchini Sticks

Pickled anything and I am totally there. I have always loved pickles. Catch me always ordering any fried pickle appetizer. So how did I come to think of this dish?

A while back I made dilled brussel sprouts by simply marinading brussel sprouts in pickle juice overnight and OMG, they were so tasty.

I’m sure you guys remember my All Things Pickled post. From pickling peppers, to onions, to jalapeƱos, to avocado, I love them ALL. I also love how simple and easy it is to pickle things. If you haven’t experienced with your own pickling, get started!

Since getting my Air Fryer I have made breaded pickles and zucchini chips multiple times. Yesterday I started to think of how I could vary it up with different seasoning. I immediately thought of the dilled brussel sprouts and thought hmm I wonder if that would taste good?!

Up close and personal

In that second, I walked over to my fridge to see if I had enough zucchini and pickle juice to start them ASAP. Of course I did, since zucchini and pickles are both staples in my fridge.

This recipe is so tasty and fun! Also whole 30 compliant and fairly easy to make. You most likely have all the ingredients on hand, as well.

So first I prepared the zucchini by washing and cutting 3 zucchini’s into “sticks”. I’ve noticed the thinner the better purely so they crisp up better. Then I placed them in a ziploc bag. Add 1-1/2 cups of pickle juice (depending on how big your zucchini’s are) to your bag. Add enough juice so when you lay your bag flat all the zucchini sticks are covered in the pickle juice.

3 small zucchini’s cut into sticks

I placed the bag in the fridge flat to ensure all the sticks soaked in the pickle juice. I let them sit all day and made them for dinner that night. So they sat for about 10 hours.

Pickle juice sealed in, bag placed flat down

When your ready to cook them remove them from the fridge and strain the juice out. I let mine sit in the strainer for quite some time to ensure all the liquid strained out.

While they sat I made the dry seasoning which was 1 cup of almond flour, 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tbsp mustard powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp paprika. Mix well and set aside. In another bowl whisk one egg.

Take your zucchini sticks and dip 2-3 into egg, then into the dry mixture. Place into air fryer with enough space so that the zucchini has space to crisp up. I cooked them at 360 degrees for about 14 minutes in multiple batches. Trust me its worth it!

Enjoy with a sauce of your choosing! I love them with ranch!! Of course, let me know what you think! I’ll be switching up and playing around with the seasoning in the future, I’m sure. Let me know what you come up with!

Air Fryer Fried Dilled Zucchini Sticks

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

appetizer, snack

Yield: 4

Air Fryer Fried Dilled Zucchini Sticks

Whole 30

Ingredients

  • 3 small zucchini’s cut into sticks
  • 1-1 1/2 cups pickle juice
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 egg whisked

Instructions

  1. First prepare your zucchini. Wash and cut 3 small zucchini’s into sticks.
  2. Place your zucchini sticks into a ziploc bag and add your pickle juice.
  3. Let mixture sit for at least 2 hours. I let mine sit all day! The longer the better.
  4. Once your ready to make preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees.
  5. Take 2-3 zucchini sticks and dip them into egg. Then dip them into the dry mixture.
  6. Place enough in the air fryer so they aren’t touching and have space to crisp up.
  7. Cook at 360 degrees for 13-15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them. I made several batches to ensure they crisped up better.
  8. Serve with your favorite sauce, ENJOY!
https://appetiteforlifee.com/air-fryer-fried-dilled-zucchini-sticks/

Xo, Rachelle

Quick & Easy Ginger Sesame Asian Salad

With all this beautiful weather and sunshine, I’ve been craving light weight, easy salads. Maybe it’s being in the garden, or just the simple idea that salad’s are so refreshing this time of year, either way I find myself making more salads. This is a great thing as I have lots of greens growing in my garden!

It’s been a while since I played around with an Asian salad and I don’t know why, as they are quite tasty! The first time I ever made homemade ginger sesame dressing I remember thinking, this might be the best homemade sauce I have EVER made. Yes this sauce does happen to be one of my absolute favorites. This recipe introduced me to dates a little over a year and a half ago, and I use them in so much of my cooking now!

The items used for making this sauce have become staples in our house as we’ve learned to make most of our own sauces instead of buying store packaged ones. Coconut aminos, sesame oil, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, EVOO, minced garlic, dates, red curry paste, and fish sauce.

I always double this sauce recipe as its perfect for a meat marinade, a salad dressing, or a dipping sauce for veggies!

For my salad portion of this recipe I usually use a coleslaw mix. You can mix in a broccoli slaw as well, which is also delicious! Depending on how quick I am trying to be sometimes I add extra lettuce and sometimes I don’t. It’s perfectly fine to just use coleslaw mix, KEEP IT SIMPLE!

I do however, always add red pepper slivers and red onions slivers. I just simply slice half a red pepper as thin as possible and half a red onion as thin as possible as well. Mix in with your coleslaw mix and your good to go.

Adding Protein?

This batch I added shredded chicken right in with the coleslaw and it was so tasty. I cooked my chicken in the InstantPot because I love the way the chicken comes out. I cook it in about 1 cup of chicken broth with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper for about 10 minutes. Chicken comes out perfectly moist!

You could add steak tips as well! I might add that for my next batch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of coleslaw or 4 cups
  • 1/2 red onion sliced thin
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced thin
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded chicken
  • 2-3 scallions
  • sesame seeds

Dressing: (This is for two batches, I always double to make a little extra!)

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 5-6 large pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste (optional)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (optional)

Instructions:

  • Add all dressing ingredients to your blender and blend well.
  • Mix your chicken, coleslaw, red onions, and red peppers in a large bowl.
  • Pour half your sauce into coleslaw mixture and mix well. If you need to add more sauce add a little at a time to ensure you don’t add to much.
  • Top with scallions.
  • Serve cold and enjoy!

WHOLE 30 FOR THE WIN, AGAIN

Another round of Whole 30 has come to an end. This being my fifth or sixth round (I have lost count) I knew what to expect and what to have on hand in order to be successful and stay motivated. I feel that this was my BEST round for many reasons that I want to share with you all.

Why Another Round?

First let me start with why I decided to do another round of whole30. This round actually wasn’t planned and I’m wondering if that is why it was my best yet?! Around Easter I was noticing a drop in my energy, stomach ache flare ups, anxious feelings, headaches, and other “not my best self” feels. The weather was starting to get nicer, the days longer so I was spending a lot of my time consuming alcohol and snacks.

I noticed my mood swings and knew immediately what was going on. So then the impromptu whole 30 happened and I am so happy it did. Here I am 34 days later and I feel incredible. My moods are more positive, those anxious moments happen less, no more headaches, no more gross gut feels and I know I have whole 30 to thank.

Growing up I was the world’s pickiest eater. I wish I knew back then, what I know now. I still find it incredible how important of a role food plays to our bodies. Now that I have experienced it and understand it, it makes sense.

What Works For Me?

After doing a few rounds I have learned things that work for me and things that don’t work for me. What’s the number one thing that works for me and helps me stay on track? FOOD PREP. I know you’ve read everywhere how crucial food prep is and your probably over hearing it BUT it is absolutely crucial. For example, if your running late and your on whole 30 (which will happen, cause life happens) and you don’t have the time to make something or find something compliant… your in trouble. We’ve all been there. Either this means you skip a meal or you cheat. Skipping a meal is NEVER a good thing in general but especially when your on whole 30.

So take the time, set aside 2 hours and prep some items that:

  • YOU LOVE- makes things you will look forward to eating. Nothing like that feeling of dreading your lunch and dreaming of something better…
  • ARE EASY- make things that are simple and don’t require tons of steps/crazy ingredients. Keep it simple. 30 days is a long time. Be practical.
  • ARE NUTRITIOUS- make things that add value. Nutrients, vitamins, healthy fats, etc. Be mindful.
  • ARE QUICK FOR ON THE GO- make things you can grab from the fridge and bring anywhere. Don’t have a way of heating something up? Have a cold and hot option to grab in a jiffy! For example, chicken salad is perfect to throw over lettuce when you are on the go! NO need to heat up.

I promise you being FOOD PREPPED is going to make your whole 30 journey more successful.

What I Always Have In My Kitchen

Some things I must have hand for those I NEED FOOD moments:

  • Almonds- I use almonds for cooking and snacking. I’ve started to buy mine in bulk to save money since we consume a lot. I recently started buying this brand.
  • Cashews- I also use cashews for cooking and snacking. Love Terrasoul’s products!
  • Carrots plus ranch. You can make your own whole 30 ranch or buy one. If I am in a jiffy I use Primal Kitchen’s ranch.
  • Which brings me to mayo. Having whole 30 compliant mayo on hand is important as it is used in so many sauces!
  • Dried Fruit. I try not to eat a lot of fruit because of the sugar however I do like to mix dried fruit in with my cashews and almonds.

Why Having A Plan Is So Important

Another important part of being successful is having a plan. By that I mean know what your next meal will be and when your next meal will be. I plan a day a head always if not more. Why? So I am not rushing or stressing an hour before lunch or dinner trying to figure out what I’m going to make or eat. Not having a plan leads to laziness which leads to bad food choices. Knowing what I will be making allows me to relax and not worry about that next meal or have to think about coming up with a meal.

Most Importantly…

Remain positive! Having a good attitude is the best thing you can do for yourself on this journey. Instead of focusing on the negative such as not being able to drink, or eat your favorite snack, focus on how amazing your body will feel after a week of whole 30. Focus on the positive relationship you are building with food! Focus on learning how to cook new things and being in the kitchen a little more.

There will be things you love and hate about this journey. Keep a journal, track your feelings. Reflect on some of your best moments and worst moments so you can learn from them.

Share your journey with friends and family! I always love to hear of whole 30 journeys!

5 Whole 30 Products I Live Off Of During My Rounds…

As I round up day 7 of Whole 30 my mind is whole 30 everything right now. Making sure my fridge and cabinets are stocked with whole 30 compliant items is how I succeed. As I’m beginning to run out of a few things that I use everyday I figured I would share what products I order weekly to help keep me on track and stay motivated.

If your like me then you like consistency. I find that keeping whole 30 options that I know I love on hand is what helps keep me on track. My very first round of whole 30 I had these big ideas to try all these new things and eat differently. What I didn’t realize, is that that was easier said then done. I started to understand that if I was going to be successful then I had to be food prepped for all situations.

I always like to balance things I know I love, with things I have never tried, with things I may not be a huge fan of but need (because they are healthy).

Here are my things I know I love and must have on hand when completing a round of whole 30.

  1. My absolute favorite for my morning coffee… NUT PODs unsweetened dairy-free creamer.
Nutpods Variety 3-Pack of Unsweetened Dairy-Free Creamers Bundled with Royal 100% Natural Birch-wood Stirrers – Vegan, Non-GMO, Whole30, Keto, Paleo – For Shakes, Coffee, Tea and Cooking

French Vanilla is my flavor of choice though they are all amazing. I absolutely love having these on hand as we love to drink coffee in our house. I start my mornings with hot coffee, by lunch I usually have a coldbrew, and late afternoon I’m onto an espresso. So you can imagine we go through a lot of these. I suggest always having them on hand!

2. Coconut Aminos

Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce, Garlic Sauce, and Aminos (Bundle) (1-Pack of 3)

I recently tried their garlic sauce flavor and it was amazing. Unfortunately my grocery store doesn’t carry it so I get mine from Amazon. This three pack is also a great deal as far as the price goes!

3. RXBARs

RX Bar Protein Bar, Coconut Chocolate, 22 Ounce, 12 Bars

It took me a while to try an RXBAR. I was so excited when I did. with 12 grams of protein in their coconut chocolate one, you can’t go wrong. I keep these on hand for those oh shit moments I have like a craving, or being somewhere with non whole 30 compliant options. If you haven’t tried them you must!

4. Spindrift Sparkling Water

Spindrift Sparkling Water, Strawberry Flavored, Made with Real Squeezed Fruit, 12 Fluid Ounce Cans, Pack of 24 (Only 9 Calories per Seltzer Water Can)

These for me, are a must have. I hate drinking plain water all day along. I need something with flavor and these actually taste great. I always have these in my fridge whether on a round of whole 30 or not.

5. CHOMPS Grass Fed Beef Jerky Sticks

CHOMPS Grass Fed Beef Jerky Snack Sticks, Keto & Paleo Friendly, Whole30 Approved, Non-GMO, Gluten & Sugar Free, 100 Calorie Snacks, 1.15 Oz Meat Stick, Pack of 10

These are so tasty and fun! Growing up I used to love eating beef jerky. These flavors are awesome and they are perfect when your in need of a quick bite. Easy to carry as they fit anywhere!

These five items I always have on hand at some point for my round of whole 30. Sticking with things I know I like and satisfy me keep me on track and motivated. It also keeps me wanting to try and introduce new things here and there. What Whole 30 Products must you have on hand? What do purchase weekly?

A BigMAC Minus The Bread

I must say I had to make this post because this recipe deserves its own blog post it’s THAT good. I sound ridiculous saying it but this recipe is life changing. It is by far my favorite Whole 30 dish for many reasons.

First, it actually tastes like a big mac. Literally the only thing missing is the bread. Sounds unbelievable but believe it, I swear its true! Between the homemade thousand island dressing, pickles, and mustard it tastes and even smells like a big mac. Quite incredible.

Second, this recipe is one of the easiest and quickest recipes. The only thing that needs to cook is the ground beef. A few minutes to cook your meat, add your flavors/spices, mix, and place over your salad and your just about done. Can’t forget the amazing whole 30 homemade thousand island that goes on top. YUM.

Third, it’s whole 30 compliant and WOW I am thankful for this one. Most items in this recipe are staples that you probably have on hand as well. This recipe reheats wonderfully and is perfect for lunch/dinner on the go!

What You Need

I used:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

For The Salad I Prepared:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • red onions
  • pickles
  • Thousand Island Dressing – 2 tbsp tomato paste, 1/4 cup chopped pickles, 1/2 cup clean mayo, salt & pepper.

How To Make

First brown your beef over olive oil on medium high heat. Once brown add diced onions, mustard, tomato paste, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, pickle juice, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Construct your salad. Place your meat on your salad and top with your homemade thousand island dressing. Enjoy how well these flavors come together!

If you have any questions as usual reach out and message me! INSTAGRAM- appetiteforlifee

Top 5 Whole 30 “Must Haves”

If you have completed a round of Whole 30, then you absolutely know how important it is to be food prepped. If your anything like me, when your hungry your hungry. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t ended a whole 30 due to caving because I was not prepared.

After many lessons learned, I have realized how important having Whole 30 compliant snacks on hand are. Over many trials I’ve figured out what snacks are most satisfying to me and which ones work best for my lifestyle.

As I gear up for another round I sat down to make my grocery list for week one. I always organize my week first by which meals I plan on having then I make my grocery list.

When doing Whole 30 I don’t plan for snacks, however from experience I know they will be needed as life happens. So for each day I include 1-2 snacks that I may or may not have. The important thing is having them for the “emergencies” such as running late, thinking I must indulge or cheat, or when I’m somewhere that doesn’t offer anything that is compliant.

Five things that are consistently on my list for each week are…

1. Veggies & Dip

A must have always is veggies and dip. Whether you have carrots and compliant ranch, celery and almond butter, or mix in compliant thousand island they are all so delicious, refreshing, and healthy. My fiance loves cherry tomatoes with compliant ranch (weird, I know) but it’s whatever floats your boat! Easy to pack in a bag or small container. Place an ice pack in your lunch box and your good to go for times on the go.

I promise this will come in handy. I actually prep out 6 bags of veggies for the week so I can grab from the fridge and go. I make about 2 batches of homemade compliant ranch a week if I don’t have a compliant brand, such as The Primal Kitchen’s, on hand. I jar out my dressing so I can also grab and go from the fridge. Use my code appetiteforlifee @ Primal Kitchen for a 10% discount on all there products. There mayo and ranch are my favorites!

2. Nuts

This is an obvious one but I can’t stress enough how many times almonds have saved me. I recently tried ranch roasted mixed nuts and they are easily on my list every week now as they were life changing.

You can eat a handful or two plain or dress them up but either way they are filling and satisfying. I have a bag of almonds in my car and my purse for emergencies. They have easily held me over for an hour or two if I was stuck somewhere.

3. Frozen Fruit

I try to eat as little fruit as possible on whole 30 however I have found that frozen grapes and bananas are so satisfying and delicious. They also feel like a dessert which feels indulgent when doing a round of whole 30. They are easy as you just throw them in the freezer. As tasty as they are I don’t go overboard as they do have natural sugars.

4. Chicken/Tuna/Egg/Potato Salad

The great thing about a chicken or potato salad is that it can be eaten cold. In a rush to leave the house, grab your pre-prepped container of chicken salad with lettuce or your container of potato salad as a snack. Eat it on the way, on the go. I sometimes even dip my celery in my chicken salad (so weird, I know). It also makes for a fulfilling dinner over a salad or wrapped in a cucumber or lettuce wrap. A must have prepped in the fridge.

5. Deviled Eggs or Hard Boiled Eggs

Another no brainer, but seriously you NEED these prepped and good to go in your fridge. I hated eating eggs for years. One day I sucked it up and tried them and now I make at least 7 of these a week. Perfect for protein and so easy to make and eat on the go, they are the perfect whole 30 snack to have on hand. Eat them alone or throw them over a salad.

Many people ask me whats your best advice for whole 30 and I always say be food prepped. Even if you think you won’t be hungry or will be able to stick to your meals or plan it doesn’t hurt to have something in place just in case.

The easiest excuse is “I didn’t have anything compliant, I’ll just start tomorrow”. Don’t let that happen by being food prepared. Even if you start with having just one of these things on hand. Track your cravings and see what works for you.

Happy Whole 30ing!