kjd1978

I'm a vegetarian cooking instructor who must cook grains and beans...

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So, I'm BRAND SPANKIN NEW to the Whole30. (3 Days in!) Personally, socially, morally, I have gotten past all issues I might have originally had with the Whole30. I was a vegetarian for 3 years and started eating meat when I began this Whole30 experiment. And I already can feel my energy improving! I do have one problem, though.

 

I am a vegetarian cooking instructor and chef. I believe I'm doing mainly really good things by helping people how to eat and cook their vegetables but I also have an issue because so much of the content of my classes in the past have included beans and grains. In fact, most people will expect that I use such things during my classes. I will have to try these dishes before I serve them to my students. There's no way around that -- it's  just being a responsible chef and teacher to try the food before you serve it. HOWEVER, I know this will mean I will break my Whole 30 probably a few times a week. I will try to cook and serve as many Whole30 appropriate dishes as I can during this time for my students and customers. Is there a forum for vegetarian Whole30 dishes besides JUST salads? Also, I'm not completely wrecking my Whole30 by having to try small bites of dishes with legumes and grains, am I? I tend to think I am not, and that it's best to do the Whole30 the best I can anyway (eating 3 square meals a day that are STRICTLY Whole30) and not beat myself up to much about having to "cheat" because of my job.

 

Thoughts, inspiration, etc?

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I would say, yes, you are "wrecking" the Whole30 but does it matter?   That all depends on your goal.  If you are searching for potential problematic foods then you would need to stay 100% compliant.

 

You are in a tough spot.  I agree that you have to taste your food IF it is a new recipe.  Why don't you just cook the meals you know are good for 30 days, and trust that you made them correctly and don't need to taste them?  Now is not the time to experiment with untested meals if they are not Whole30 compliant.  Are your students new each week or in a class where you have them for a term/semester?  If you teach cooking classes to people off the street then I think it will be much easier to focus on tried and true recipes for a month.

 

Go for the winter squash, avocado, sweet potato recipes!  Add eggs.  You could use this time to educate your students on the downsides of sugar and processed grains.  Perhaps you already do… but vegetarians can be some of the least healthy eaters I know!  

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Yeah, it's not a Whole30 if you're eating anything off plan, and it's unclear how doing so will effect your results.

I agree with Pam's advice - make recipes that don't require tasting. (Or, you can do what another professional pastry chef did when she did her Whole30: spit the food out after tasting. Not sure if you could do that "behind the scenes" so that students won't see you spitting out food.)

 

If you're cooking class is in line with the vegetarian Whole30, certain legumes and beans, properly prepared, are allowed. See the Whole30 vegetarian shopping list.

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Teaching people to cook tasty veggies is an important job and I am glad you have accepted the task. I appreciate that your job calls for you to prepare ingredients that are not allowed during a Whole30 and that you need to taste them. However, you can't know with perfect assurance how the off-plan ingredients affect you if you don't eliminate them 100 percent for 30 days. So I would say, you are adopting Whole30-style eating, but I would not say you were doing a Whole30. Frankly, I don't think you should worry about that. My guess is that you will experience most of the benefits of doing a perfect Whole30. Unless you continue to face nagging issues that you suspect are food related, I think you should just carry on as you are doing. 

 

Let me offer a little perspective on where I am coming from. I have not personally done a Whole30 in over 2 years. My first Whole30 lasted 4 months and I probably had several 30 days periods that were perfect over the following year, but I do not worry about perfection anymore. I call what I do Whole30-style eating. I eat perfectly according to the Whole30 in my home and I happen to eat most of my meals at home because I work from home. However, I don't worry about a little dairy or beans or the addition of sugar when I am away from home. I figure that over the past month, my compliance with Whole30-standards has been above 95 percent. and that is average for me. 

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I'm a little suprised no one has questioned your curriculum, but I will: it sounds as if you get to decide what recipes you teach and cook. Why not embrace whole30-style eating and cooking for your students as well? You could teach only vegetarian recipes without ever needing to touch a grain or legume. Your students would be healthier for it, and so would you.

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So, I'm BRAND SPANKIN NEW to the Whole30. (3 Days in!) Personally, socially, morally, I have gotten past all issues I might have originally had with the Whole30. I was a vegetarian for 3 years and started eating meat when I began this Whole30 experiment. And I already can feel my energy improving! I do have one problem, though.

 

I am a vegetarian cooking instructor and chef. I believe I'm doing mainly really good things by helping people how to eat and cook their vegetables but I also have an issue because so much of the content of my classes in the past have included beans and grains. In fact, most people will expect that I use such things during my classes. I will have to try these dishes before I serve them to my students. There's no way around that -- it's  just being a responsible chef and teacher to try the food before you serve it. HOWEVER, I know this will mean I will break my Whole 30 probably a few times a week. I will try to cook and serve as many Whole30 appropriate dishes as I can during this time for my students and customers. Is there a forum for vegetarian Whole30 dishes besides JUST salads? Also, I'm not completely wrecking my Whole30 by having to try small bites of dishes with legumes and grains, am I? I tend to think I am not, and that it's best to do the Whole30 the best I can anyway (eating 3 square meals a day that are STRICTLY Whole30) and not beat myself up to much about having to "cheat" because of my job.

 

Thoughts, inspiration, etc?

I think this is your opportunity to be creative. Take one of your regular recipes and make it paleo. What about Cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles? Sweet Potato hash ( I have them with eggs). Braised veggies, roast veggies, roast veggie soup. Kale chips, mushroom chips, Brussels sprout chips. How about unusual vegetables Kabocha squash, celery root, kohlrabi, spaghetti squash. Maybe you cook all of these already. I am not a chef so I am sure you can come up with many more vegetables than I can. 

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I like all these answers, but I am especially thrilled with Tina and MissMary's idea to change up the menu to include more than the same ol' tired dishes. How could anyone coming to a vegetarian cooking class be less than excited about dishes they've likely never tasted? Some of these students may be coming for Veg 101, but many are probably looking to spice up their repertoire.

 

I can think of a few I'd have loved during my Vegetarian stint: Cauliflower "rice" pilaf, Velvety Butternut Squash, Green Beans with Sizzled Garlic, Creamy Market Spice Kale (all from theclothesmakethegirl), veggie curries w/coconut milk,  Roasted garlic Autumn mash and roasted kabocha squash (nomnompaleo) -- all vegetarian, whole30, delicious!

 

Sorry, I get excited about veggies. :)

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