Monday: Moroccan “Meatballs”– This is a vegan recipe, but you can easily use lean ground beef or lamb instead of chickpeas.

Tuesday: Sheet Pan Shrimp Boil– You can lighten this up by reducing the amount of butter used….1/4 cup is a bit much for this recipe (in my opinion). Remember, the sausage will release some fat when it cooks. I suggest spraying lightly with olive oil, and then tasting after everything is cooked. Each person you serve can add some butter/ghee to their own dish if they’d like.

Wednesday: Paleo Butternut Apple Chicken Salad w/ Creamy Maple Dressing– Very straightforward. If you have a favorite dressing/dressing recipe- use that. ***You can make extra chicken today, and use for tomorrow (if you want tomorrow’s recipe to be carnivorous).***

Thursday: Jackfruit Chickpea Coconut Stir Fry–  This recipe has a few spices that you can substitute. For the initial spice mix, I plan to skip the peppercorns (and simply use ground pepper). This way, I don’t have to dirty something else by grinding one spice. No mustard seeds? Replace with ground mustard. No cumin seeds? Replace with ground cumin. No asafetida? Add more garlic. No jackfruit? Use shredded chicken or tofu.

Friday: Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos-Easy recipe, that can be multiplied and frozen for the future. Be sure to check your can of chipotles if you’re gluten free…some brands contain wheat to thicken the sauce.

Saturday: Honey Mustard Salmon– Don’t like salmon? Try this glaze recipe on chicken or pork loin.

Sunday: Super Vegan Bowls– You can use this recipe as a base to clean out your fridge for the week. Use whatever vegetables/protein you have leftover from the week.

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Incredibly quick and easy is my goal this week. And I’m pretty confident that the meals this week won’t break the bank at the grocery. We’ll be using (what I consider) to be mostly staples.

Monday: Crispy Potato Curry: I like this recipe because it’s your veggie and carb all in one! I think I may add some more vegetables (like carrots and peppers) to the roast, just to add some more nutrition. If you like naan, because you’re a human with a soul, try this Paleo Naan recipe. Or, buy some! Costco has a pack of a million individual sized naan pieces (not gluten free) that can be frozen. I found them in the “ethnic” refrigerated section…by the kimchi, seaweed salad, and pork buns.

Tuesday: Whole 30 Sloppy Joe’s with…spaghetti squash/buns/sweet potatoes/white potatoes/rice/quinoa/cauliflower rice. That’s a ton of options. If you have a favorite recipe, by all means use it…but “Whole 30” ensures that there’s no added sugar from condiments, or general ick from a can. This recipe is very fast, and can easily be doubled or tripled if you want to make it in bulk and freeze for another day. ***If you plan to freeze, portion it out before freezing, so you don’t have to thaw the remainder and re-freeze.***

Wednesday: Mexican Pizzas- This used to be my Taco Bell jam! This, a Supreme Chalupa, and Dr. Pepper. Because when you’re 16, you can treat your body like a landfill, because the future is never going to come for you. Anyway…there’s no recipe for this one. I just plan to use corn tortillas (that I’ll lightly pan fry), layered with black beans, and taco filling. I pulled some taco seasoned chicken (for the male), and some taco seasoned jackfruit (for me) out of the freezer. Then I’ll top with “cheese” before putting in the oven to melt, and serve with guacamole.

Thursday: Avocado curry rice noodles with shrimp: My only issue with this recipe, is that I find the serving size to be incredibly unrealistic. I think I can get 4 servings out of this…6 would leave me needing to make another meal an hour later. Use whatever kind of noodles you have/like. You could also substitute the shrimp for chicken, tofu, or just add a lot of vegetables and make this a vegan dish.

Friday: Protein grilled on pineapple skin: Sounds weird, I know.  I’m going to use cod for this, because I have some. This would be great with another white fish, salmon, or chicken. I’m just trying this because I love pineapple, I always cut my own, and I’m hoping that there’s a use for all the waste. I’m going to serve this with Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice, and I will most likely not make this with all of the bacon and eggs that the recipe calls for. I just don’t require that much protein.

Saturday: 15 Minute Spicy Shrimp with Pesto Noodles: I don’t think I’ll make this with shrimp. I haven’t determined what I’ll use instead, but…something. Helpful, I know. If you have a favorite pesto recipe, by all means. You can also use store-bought, which will really save time. The sauce would taste great on quinoa too, if you don’t want pasta twice in one week, or if you don’t want to use zucchini noodles, per the recipe.

Sunday: Funday- free day! Try a new recipe, go out, eat PB&J’s…

Monday: Sweet Potato Coconut Curry– This is a perfect, quick, vegan meal. I plan to use white potatoes instead of sweet, because I already have some…and I’ve been reminded by my husband that, “We eat sweet potatoes a lot.” Which in his language means, “Stop fixing sweet potatoes.”

Tuesday: Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing– Don’t have shrimp, and don’t want to buy any? That’s ok. This will be great with any kind of protein (including beans to make this vegetarian).

Wednesday: Leftovers- It’s that time again. Clean out the fridge and freezer! You can try and play this off by putting each meal in a separate serving dish, and call it a buffet. I don’t know how that would make anything better, but at least you have the night off!

Thursday: BBQ and Coleslaw- You can make any kind of bbq you and your family enjoy. I’m going to go the jackfruit route, but use the recipe for this BBQ sauce. Jackfruit has a meaty texture and the look of pulled pork. I ordered a large bag from Vegan Essentials. Much easier than tracking down a store that carries fresh jackfruit, and then attempting to break it down myself.

As for coleslaw, I really don’t use a recipe. I buy pre-shredded coleslaw, and add some green onion. Then, I mix a good dollop (or more, depending on how many I’m trying to feed) of mayo (classic, homemade, or vegan) with about 1 TBSP lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, a squirt of mustard, salt, pepper, and a few drops of liquid stevia (sounds strange, but you really need a tiny bit of sweetness to balance out the fat and acid).

Friday: Spicy Ramen with Tofu– I’m going to begin by cutting the miso paste recipe in half. You only use half for this recipe anyway, and what happens if you’re not in love with it, and then you’re stuck with a buttload? I’m also going to use shiritaki noodles instead of ramen. If you don’t have either, linguini or spaghetti will also work here. If you/yours aren’t pumped about tofu- don’t use it! Try out a different protein.

Saturday: Pizza- Pizza is needed for normalcy and happiness in life. It’s also my husband’s lifeblood, and he can’t go more than a few days without a hit.

Sunday: It’s the Super Bowl, so let’s face it…there will be snacks. But, you can make a healthy dinner to fill up on before kickoff, so you’re not starving.

Monday: Spring Rolls: Fast, easy, and healthy. Chop up a whole mess of vegetables (and use what’s leftover for the rest of the week), wrap the veggies in rice paper, dip in peanut sauce. Add any protein you like, or skip it.

Tuesday: Avocado Salmon Rice Bowls:  This is a very simple recipe, and the link is no longer working! So, rub salmon filets with salt, pepper, lime juice, and a little honey (really, any seasonings that you like). Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Make some rice, and  while you’re at it, make extra rice or quinoa for the week. Smash up some avocados with some cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper…and toss a little of everything into a bowl.

Wednesday: Anything-Goes Kale Salad: There’s a plan here! Using leftovers from Monday and Tuesday, you have dinner for Wednesday!

Thursday: Whole 30 Mango Chicken with Coconut Cauliflower “Rice”: Sounds good to me. I  keep frozen organic mango on hand, so I plan to thaw some and puree it, as opposed to buying mango or orange juice (which we won’t drink). To save time, buy pre-riced cauliflower. It’s everywhere now.

Friday:Gluten free Butternut Squash Falafel Salad Bowls : Bear with me on this one….I’m using this more as an idea, than a recipe. There are a lot of steps and a lot of elements to this..and I plan to skip most of them.

1) Not making the falafels. Instead, I’m using pre-made organic veggie tots      that I got from Costco.  Veggie burgers would also work here.

2) Not frying the shallots. Stomach can’t handle them, and it’s just another step.

3) Using the grain that I made earlier in the week.

Boom. That just saved at least an hour.

Saturday: Crock Pot Fajitas: Again, an idea. Use any kind of protein you like, or sub portobello mushrooms for the meat.

Sunday: Chicken Shawarma : This chicken rub is so delicious. Try and get the chicken (or tofu or jackfruit) marinating as early as you can in the day. If you’re not into pitas, serve atop any grain, cauliflower rice, or make into a big a$$ salad.

Happy short week!

Monday: Look around and put something together. This is how people have been fixing dinner since day one! No one wants to venture out on a cold day off. I know you have food in your house, and there’s an easy formula for putting it all together to make a whole, nutritious meal: Vegetables+Carb+Protein= Meal. So many possibilities. I have rice, quinoa, and gluten free pasta (made from brown rice) on hand. You could also use potatoes, or cauliflower “rice” as your base. I also have a bunch of roasted vegetables that I made this weekend, as well as some frozen shrimp. Those things will all be lovingly tossed together, and served to a husband, who will probably sneer at it’s lack of beef and potatoes.

Tuesday: Indian Chicken Coconut Korma: I’m 99% sure this would be successful in a crock pot. You could even put chicken and some broth in the crock pot, cook that and use it all week, and add the cooked chicken to the end of this recipe. If you serve this with rice or naan, you’ll take away it’s Paleo-ness. That’s fine with me, but, I’ll choose one or the other to keep this lower carb.

Wednesday: Mustard Roasted Potatoes and Apples with lean protein of your choice: This is an easy one-pan meal. If you plan to serve this with fish or chicken, you could add the protein to the pan when you add the apples (you may need to cut the chicken into smaller pieces to ensure everything is cooked at the same time).

Thursday: Vegan Bowls with Parsley Cashew Pesto: The pesto is the only part of the recipe that “needs” to be followed. So, make the pesto, and serve with a healthy grain and whatever vegetables you have on-hand. Tofu or meat can easily be added to increase your protein.

Friday: Butternut Squash Chicken Skillet: This recipe is Paleo and Whole 30…so, it has the potential to be a little bland. To ensure that this is flavorful, try marinating the chicken in the spices and letting that stay in the fridge all day (you could even take all of the ingredients, put in a bag, and let it all marinate all day). This could be made on the stovetop if you don’t have a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have one- get one! You can buy them from Amazon (very inexpensive, and so easy to take care of).

Saturday: Polenta Stacks with Squash and Cashew Cream with a protein, if you’d like: Don’t be discouraged when you look at this recipe. Personally, I will use the brand of polenta that I already have in my cabinet. You can also purchase pre-made polenta (in tubes), and that will cut off a lot of time. This does take a little planning, though. The polenta will need to set up, so make it earlier in the day. To save time and money, I’m going to skip the delicata squash, and use the organic frozen butternut squash I already have.

Sunday: Freebie!

What an exciting day! Normally Monday is not the coolest of the days, but I’m going to Target AND grocery shopping, and for me that is the epitome of fun. It doesn’t take much these days. The reason I love grocery shopping, is that I love to eat. I get to go buy all of my fuel for the week. I love seeing my produce drawers jammed packed at the beginning of the week, and then by Sunday evening there’s just a rogue lemon and a few carrots left. I am 100% onboard with paying more for quality produce and ingredients now, because I feel that it will prevent me from having to eat a handful of pills every day.

Also, VOTE tomorrow if you haven’t already! Why? Because you’re an adult, it’s your right, and you get a free sticker. Remember, if you’re not thrilled by any of you choices, you can always write me in. I’m fair, but firm. And if you don’t like any of these choices for meals this week, scroll the archives.

Monday: No Fry Vegan Vegetable Manchurian– Take note: the first ingredient is 2 cups finely chopped vegetables, and then a bunch of veggies are listed as examples. You don’t need the 2 cups plus the listed examples…make sense? I don’t have the special pan this recipe uses, so I’ll make balls and put them on a pan and bake flipping halfway through…I’m thinking 425° for 15-20, to get them nice and crispy. I plan to serve this atop of spaghetti squash to keep this low carb.

Tuesday: Smashed Plantain Pulled Pork Sliders– Paleo- I hope you remembered to save your leftover pork from Sunday! If not, this is not going to be the 10 minute meal I intended. If you can’t find plantains, I bet this would work with potatoes…you’d had to slice them pretty thick for the same effect…maybe 1/2 inch? Also, the fry time will probably be different; probably 1-2 additional minutes per side.

Wednesday: Low Carb “Sweet Potato” Casserole with Your Choice of Protein- To save a lot of time, use 2 cans of butternut squash puree and a bag of pre-riced cauliflower. I don’t think I’ll use the full 2 cups of pecans this recipe calls for….it’s just too much for my liking. Also, I suggest not adding all of the sweetener called for in the topping…maybe just use half, taste, and re-attack.

Thursday: Moroccan Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrots with Your Choice of Protein-  This is one of my favorite recipes. I always skip the end of the recipe with the olives, parsley, and lemon juice. Just my preference. I think this will pair very well with white fish or scallops as your protein choice.

Friday: Bibimbap– My absolute favorite Korean food. This link is for the bibimbap sauce…scroll about halfway down the page and you’ll see it. Essentially, this meal is rice topped with sautéed vegetables, meat, and a fried egg. You can make yours vegan by only using vegetables and skipping the fried egg; vegetarian by skipping the meat; or cater to omnivores with vegetables, meat, and the fried egg. As a base you can use rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. And you’re probably going to want to double the sauce recipe, because it’s just so good. ***Be sure to check the ingredients on your Korean chili paste, as many have wheat in them. I was able to find a gluten free brand on Amazon.

Saturday: Honey Chipotle Portobello Burgers with Mustard Slaw– This one is pretty self explanatory. You could use the marinade/rub and add it to ground beef if you’re so inclined.

Sunday: White Chicken Chili– Gluten and dairy free. I plan to use chicken breasts, but besides that, this seems like a pretty sound recipe! If you eat dairy, feel free to use heavy cream or whole milk in place of the coconut milk.

Happy Halloween! I like Halloween. Probably because candy is delicious. I was always the kid who would come home and dive right in, running out of candy approximately 3 days later. My brother would organize his, have a piece, forget about it, and still have some up until Easter. I can not condone behavior like that. Anyway, instead of dressing up and partying this year, I’m going to the dentist. I’m actually really excited; I love the dentist. And I made sure to buy candy to hand out that while name brand, does nothing for me, as to not be tempted by it.

Monday: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese– This meal will come together quickly, so you can get homework done, costumes on, and get out of the door by twilight. To save even more time, use a can of butternut squash puree instead of making your own. For gluten free, be sure to use gluten free pasta, and replace the flour with cornstarch. I skip the breadcrumb topping all together, because I don’t like the crunch on mac n cheese.

Tuesday: Chopped Enchilada Skillet– Gluten free, can easily be made vegetarian by doubling the beans, can be dairy free if you use dairy free cheese (Trader Joe’s Almond Milk shredded cheese is really good…and my husband thought he was eating cow mucus- I mean ‘milk’ cheese). Now, I’m actually a grandma, so I make my own enchilada sauce, because store bought tends to have some ingredients that I stay away from. Here’s the recipe I use…it makes a LOT, so I freeze what I don’t use.

  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 cups broth (any will do….use bone broth for added protein)
  • 10 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried chives (or leave this out…you’ll more than likely have onions in whatever meal you’ll be using this for)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • No need to cook this…just stir/blend it and think, “Does Martha effing Stewart even make her own enchilada sauce?!”

Wednesday: Kale Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes- I could eat this every day. This is complete to me, but serve with roasted chicken (I’ve been buying a rotisserie chicken every week for my husband) or white fish for added protein. You can easily double this recipe, and have a quick lunch all ready. Here’s the link to the sauce this is served with: Out of This World Tahini Herb Sauce.

Thursday: Autumn Cobb Salad with Smoky Pumpkin Dressing: How can you not want to eat this? So, I am lazy, and I buy raw, pre-cut butternut squash from the grocery. This saves time and so many fingers. Obviously no seeds come with this, so I just use pre-roasted pumpkin seeds. But, walnuts or pecans would go really well with this, too. This is another instance where that rotisserie chicken is a perfect time saver.

Friday: Roasted Smoked Eggplant Curry–  Vegan and gluten free. I plan to serve with cauliflower rice, so I can also have naan. I try to keep my carbs to one option at each meal. Pre-riced cauliflower rice is your best friend. Trader Joe’s sells is in the refrigerated section, and I toss it in the freezer until I’m ready to use it.

Saturday: Apricot Dijon Roast Chicken– I mean, look at that picture. This meal is beautiful. Although….I think I’m going to use a salmon fillet instead of a whole chicken. Also, I don’t know if I can find fresh apricots at this time of year, so, I think you could chop some dried ones instead. Or (and I promise I don’t get paid by Trader Joe’s), but they sell frozen apricots that are delicious and make me happy as all hell. Serve with a rice or quinoa dish to round this out.

Sunday: Crispy Carnitas– A favorite recipe of ours. It’s foolproof. Don’t skip the last step where you fry the cooked meat to crisp it up. It’s worth cleaning another dish. Aaaaand, save your leftovers, because we’re going to use them next week. It’s Sunday: Treat Yourself. Bust out the tortillas.

I did it again. This past weekend was a 3 hour dinner and a food festival, so…I fell off that sugar and dairy wagon. But, I’m vowing to have 0 fun for weeks, months, years…not really…just as long as it takes for my stomach to not twist and turn no matter what I eat. So, this week it’s all broth and kale. Ok, too extreme. How about these options instead?

Monday: Chickpea Vindaloo– Vegan and Gluten free. Don’t be discouraged when you look at the paste ingredients- just improvise. I don’t have cardamom pods, whole cloves, or cumin seeds, so I’ll use the ground versions. I don’t have mustard seeds, so I’ll leave it out.  Fenugreek? Skip. These swaps also allow for another day of not having to grocery shop.

Tuesday: Crab Risotto– I plan to dumb this down immensely. I have never made risotto that I thought was worth the time and effort. So, I will probably use whatever rice is in the cabinet, toast it with oil and the spices called for, then add the wine and stock (1/2 the amount called for)- not crab stock, because I don’t have any. Who am I? Ina Garten? This recipe will be good with shrimp if you don’t want to deal with crab. Although, you can find lots of good quality, canned claw meat at any grocery and Costco.

Wednesday: Tortilla Soup with Jalapeño Cashew Queso– Gluten free and vegan, but feel free to use cheese and add shredded chicken. To save time, skip making your own tortilla strips, and just use some chips.

Thursday: Salad Night. So many options here. Empty the fridge, lay it all out on the counter, and have at it.

Friday: Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti Squash– This is an easy recipe, perfect for people who don’t want to cook on a Friday…AKA the Earth’s population. Serve with leftover salad or another vegetable. This recipe is very low-cal, so fill up! ***Buy your spaghetti squash from places that sell by the squash, and not by the pound. I know for sure that Trader Joe’s sells their’s this way. ***

Saturday: Grilled Lemon Chicken Flatbread Wraps with Spicy Garlic Sauce– Don’t have a grill? Cube the chicken and bake it at 425 for 10-15 min (depending on the cube size). It won’t have the same char-y grilled look, but will still be delicious.You can even coat the chicken in the spices and toss it in the crock pot. Or, for a vegetarian option substitute the chicken for tempeh or Gardein. Careful! Gardein contains wheat, and some brands of tempeh do too. If you’re steering clear of bread, serve this with quinoa or another grain/seed that you like.

Sunday: Crock Pot African Peanut Stew– Gluten and dairy free….can be Paleo if you eat something entirely different. I’ll admit, I haven’t tried this recipe before, but it sounds really good to me. So, I’m forcing it on you! Just be sure that you use peanut butter without added sugar, or this will taste way too sweet. For a grain free side, try plantains instead of rice.

 

 

This is a man’s world

Another slap in the face: Men are able to lose more weight, quicker than women. Of course they can. So, please do not be discouraged if you and your XY have started eating healthier and exercising, and his pants are getting looser while yours, well- aren’t. We can blame science for this, ladies. Here are the facts:

  1. Men are (typically) bigger than we are to begin with. They have more muscle, by nature, and muscle burns more calories than fat. Men also have quicker metabolisms…normally 3-10% faster than women.
  2. Women tend to focus on cardio instead of lifting. Lifting will build muscle, boosting muscle mass and metabolism.
  3. Our brains are wired differently. In a 2009 study, even when women said they weren’t hungry when asked to smell, taste, and simply look at foods such as pizza and chocolate cake, brain scans showed activity in the regions that control the drive to eat. This is not the case for men. Women also tend to have an emotional attachment to food, turning to food when we’re happy, sad, angry, and depressed. And these foods we turn to…let’s just say that no one is binging on kale.
  4. We all have a “hungry” hormone called ghrelin. Unfortunately for women, this hormone spikes after a workout, and our “full” hormone (leptin) plummets into Middle Earth. Men do not experience these hormonal changes.
  5. And no conversation about women would be complete without mentioning getting pregnant. When women lose weight, our bodies get scared that we’ll lose too much, so it holds on to fat stores. This is the body’s natural way of fighting energy deficits in order to preserve fertility so we can procreate. When women aren’t getting enough calories, ovulation and hormones that make reproduction possible get suppressed.

Well, what can we do?! The answer is very simple- and very frustrating…Don’t give up! “Good things come to those who wait.” Who said that? I hate that guy. But, really…that’s what it comes down to. Keep eating healthy, keep working out, keep loving yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others, stop negative self-talk, stop giving up. Health is a constant journey. You are worth all of the hard work!

We_Can_Do_It!