For 30 days this month we're exploring Whole30, the 30-day reset and refocus on whole foods. Whole30 isn't a diet or a judgment of foods as "good and bad." It's actually a short-term reset that has helped many of our readers cook more and figure out the foods that make them feel their best. Read more about our coverage here.
I just finished up my first round of Whole30 yesterday (minus the reintroduction). I have a lot of feelings about the program — some good, some bad — but something that really stood out to me was the sheer amount of cooking that is necessary to do Whole30 right. For the last 30 days I cooked about 95 percent of my meals, which required a ton of meal planning and prepping. Some of the recipes I made were duds, while others I returned to week after week because they were just that delicious.
There was one recipe, however, that stood out above the rest and was something I really looked forward to every week. This meal was satisfying in ways that other Whole30 meals just weren't. It's smoky, salty, and rich in ways that made me forget that I wasn't eating pizza for 30 days. It's something I'll continue to make regardless of if I'm doing Whole30 or not.
My favorite recipe I made during Whole30 was this crispy swoodles with bacon from Nom Nom Paleo. You need a spiralizer to make this recipe (and some upper arm strength). Essentially, you make noodles out of sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion; crisp them up in bacon fat in the oven; toss the noodles with even more bacon; and then top the crispy noodles with lime juice, parsley, and chives. You can top the resulting dish in a fried egg, or go with half an avocado (like I did).
I've made plenty of spiralizer recipes before, but this one was unique. I loved the inclusion of the spiralized onion (so smart!), and the sweet potato gave the recipe some heft, which I missed in other Whole30 recipes. Cooking the vegetable noodles in bacon fat is also an ingenious move for Whole30, because by the end I was pretty bored of getting all my fat from coconut oil and ghee.
If you make this recipe, I recommend doubling it so you can get a couple meals out of all your work. It's definitely a little labor-intensive and your arms will hurt after spiralizing all those vegetables, but it's worth it. The good news is that this recipe is almost as delicious fresh as it is cold the next day for breakfast.
Get the recipe: Crispy Swoodles with Bacon from Nom Nom Paleo
If you've completed Whole30, is there a specific dish that you loved? What made is so special? Let us know in the comments.