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.

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: 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!

I just have to get through the week, and then I can go on vacation again. Sorrynotsorry. It’s our last trip before we move! 24 days until the movers come; 43 until we say, “Tschüß, Deutschland!”

I’m already in food creativity mode…aka: clean out the fridge, freezer, and anything perishable…aka: weird stuff. I managed to not grocery shop this week, and have been scrounging. I’m on my own for most of the week, and really don’t want to buy much. So, these recipes will utilize pantry staples. There are still a lot of healthy foods packed in…condiment casserole will come later in the month. However, don’t use transitional times as an excuse to eat poorly. Throw out the last 5 crackers; dump the old jelly in the back of the fridge; donate unopened/unwanted items to food banks; make meals in advance and freeze them so you’re not eating out all of the time.

Happy week to you! Is anyone experiencing summer? Is it on the schedule for this year?

 

Monday: Spicy Black Bean Quinoa Patties: vegan/gluten free- Use organic beans in a BPA free can, or use dry beans and cook them yourself (will definitely take a bit longer). Can you buy beans in a glass jar? If you can, do that. These patties can be served atop greens for a healthy start to the week. If Monday already has you like, whoa, ain’t nothing wrong with a little bread, either.

Tuesday: Vegan Turmeric and Coconut Milk Vegetable Bowl: vegan/gluten free- This would be delicious with shrimp or chicken added. Load this up with vegetables…you can’t have too much.

Wednesday: Sticky Chicken and Vegetable Bowl with Avocado “Mayo”– gluten free- This can easily be multiplied to serve more than two, or to have some for leftovers. You can try using textured soy protein (the bigger chunks) and preparing it like the chicken, to make this vegan.

Thursday: Sloppy Lentil Sandwiches: vegan, gluten free if you use g-free bread/buns- This will make a big batch, and will freeze well. You can substitute textured soy protein for the lentils, or use grass fed beef if you want some meat.

Friday: Curried Quinoa Chicken Salad– gluten free- Try to use bone broth if you can find it, or make your own. Store bought broth is glorified salt water, with none of the nourishing benefits of bone broth. This can be eaten “as is,” or you can add it to wraps, as a sandwich…with a croissant. That made my mouth water. Thought you’d like to know.

Saturday: Slow Cooker Deep Dish Pizza: gluten free- I am 99% positive that this will work with any pizza dough recipe. Obvi, use whatever cheese and toppings you want. In the words of the great Ron Popeil, “Set it and forget it!”

Sunday: Pasta night- Choose your pasta: organic whole wheat, gluten free, shirataki noodles, zoodles, a combo of the aforementioned. Choose a sauce: tomato, pesto, alfredo, oil, butter, maybe a few to pick from. Want a protein? Ground beef, ground turkey, blackened chicken, roasted salmon. Add some veggies? Tomatoes, peas, peppers, onions…you know what veggies are. Extras: cheese, bacon, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives. The possibilities are endless. Can’t decide? Play a game of MASH with the options and let fate decide. Beware: You could end up eating pasta with alfredo sauce, ground beef, tomatoes, and olives.

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Grains, Peas, Potatoes, and Peanuts…Oh my!

You’ll see from this week’s recipes that I eat Grains, Peas, Potatoes, and Peanuts. These are major no-no foods for some people. Sometimes warranted, due to illness or allergy….but, for the most part, off limits because there’s a rumor that these are, “bad” foods.

I bought into the white potato embargo for a bit…but got over that real quick-like. Because potatoes are freaking delicious. Potatoes are full of Vitamin C (really), B6, potassium, and magnesium. They also contain protein, fiber, iron, a lil bit o’calcium, no cholesterol, and a teensy tiny bit of fat. If you deep fry potatoes in canola oil or slather them in butter, sour cream, and cheese…not so healthy. But, if you soak them (to remove some starch), dry them, and roast them with a little bit of oil (I’m talking spray the pan/foil and that’s it) at 400°F for 40 min, you have crispy fries.

I don’t see nothin’ wrong with a little whole grain. Grains (always, always choose organic), are very low fat, contain no cholesterol, have very low sodium, and contain protein and fiber. Here’s a great chart that has the specifics:Whole Grain Nutrition Chart

I don’t know why peas have gotten a bad rep. I know that hardcore Paleo people think they’re bad. You mean to tell me cavemen wouldn’t have eaten green peas, but they would have done Crossfit and then had beer? Pop off. Admittedly, they aren’t my favorite food in the world, but they add a nice texture sometimes. Peas are very high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium. They also have magnesium, B-6, iron, fiber, and calcium. Perhaps people have issues with the sugar in peas? But, naturally occurring sugars are worlds apart from added sugar. I have 0 issues with something that grows from the Earth.

Peanuts. If you don’t like peanuts (unless you’re allergic), I have no time for you. Peanuts are delicious. There are so many great flavor combos…if I had to live in a world without peanut butter, I would cry. When I say, “peanut butter, ” I do NOT mean Skippy or Jif. No. Throw those away. There is so much sugar and salt added to those. My favorite pb in the world is Vitacost’s brand. It’s organic, comes in a BPA free jar, and the only ingredient is: peanuts. Whatever kind you buy, read the label. There is no need for added sugar, salt, or oil. Another alternative is de-fatted peanut flour. You add water or milk, and have a low fat version of pb. I like to use this for peanut sauce, or I mix it with a smashed banana for a quick, healthy “frosting.” My brand of choice is Naked PB. I recently switched to this brand over Bell Plantation’s PB2 powder, because Naked PB contains only peanuts. The other brand has added sugar and salt. Peanuts are high in fat (which satiates and makes you feel full) , but they are also full of protein, iron, tons of potassium, magnesium, B-6, and calcium. They have 0 cholesterol, and have a good amount of fiber.

The moral here is: Don’t stop eating something natural, because a handful of people have deemed it unhealthy. If it works for your body, and you enjoy the taste, eat it!

This week’s eats:

Monday: Coconut Kale w/ Turmeric Rice: I’m making this with quinoa, instead of rice. And if you have to use frozen kale- that’s fine! That’s what I have to use. Germans are very strict about only offering produce that’s in-season.

Tuesday: Seared Ahi Tuna Salad w/ Wasabi Vinaigrette

Wednesday: Very Vegan Jalapeno Pesto Sandwich: You could take this recipe as a suggestion. The pesto recipe is where the goodness is. Other than that, just make a sandwich with whatever you want on it!

Thursday: Mexican: No recipe needed here. Make some guac, chop some vegetables, make some spicy meat (if you want), and put it on tortillas/lettuce wraps. And have a margarita for Thirsty Thursday.

Friday: It’s National Pizza Party day! Leave it to my husband to know this. Some friends and I lovingly call him, Pizza Rat. He can find pizza anywhere. He goes to children’s birthday parties to get the free pizza. He will invite himself over if he sees a pizza man deliver to your house. He has to have pizza and back-up pizza in the freezer at all times. I’m surprised he doesn’t have a TMNT costume, so he can eat pizza and be, “in character,” 24/7.  May 20 is the biggest day of the year for my Pizza Rat. I think I’ll order him Pizza Hut, and for me…not sure yet. Every gluten free crust recipe I’ve made is just, “eh.” I’m on the hunt for a pizza that makes my heart sing.

Saturday: Miso Tahini Soba Noodles: I’m a bit fanatical when it comes to only consuming organic soy anything. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to organic edamame, so I plan to substitute peas. I also plan to use peanut butter instead of tahini, simply because I don’t have tahini open right now, and I’m on the clock for when I have to consume refrigerated food before the movers get here. If you have tahini, use it.

Sunday: Hearty Vegan Spanish Potatoes and some kinda protein (TBD): This sounds so good. Just be sure to use gluten free bread, if that suits you. I haven’t decided what kind of protein would go best with this…

Short week! Who doesn’t love staving off responsibilities for another day? Hopefully you had a relaxing, restorative long weekend. You can get through four days. Here are some tasty recipes to give you something to look forward to while you’re listening to your co-workers/children/randos tell you long, exhaustive stories about things you could not care less about. Serenity now.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday- Any kind you want…veggie, chicken, ground beef, shrimp…just don’t go crazy on the cheese, and maybe sub full fat Greek Yogurt for sour cream. Consider using whole lettuce leaves instead of tortillas. And please…don’t buy taco seasoning anymore. I bet you have all of the spices to make up your own blend, and then you don’t have to deal with all of the added sodium and fillers: Homemade Taco Seasoning.

Wednesday: Immunity Boosting Miso Soup and Pan Fried Rice Balls. I think these sound so good. The soup is vegan and gluten free. But, you could add chicken. Wakami flakes? No idea what that is…not buying a special ingredient for one recipe…skipping it. For the rice balls, scroll down for a bit to get the recipe in English. I also think there is some wasted time in this recipe. Just grab a bit of rice, put some veggies on it, and smoosh some more rice on top. If you’re feeling on top of things, make some extra rice and keep it for Sunday’s dinner.

Thursday: Salmon and Baked Potato Pakoras with Cilantro Sauce. Non meat eaters can pair these Pakoras with a nice, big salad- and more of that cilantro sauce.

Friday: Avocado Quinoa Cakes with Avocado Crema and Salsa Fresca– Naturally gluten free. I’m assuming in the recipe that, “rice powder,” is rice flour. Not sure this ingredient is necessary. To make dairy free, use a plant based milk, non dairy cheese, non dairy yogurt, or coconut cream instead of yogurt. To make vegan, make all of the changes above, plus sub chia eggs, flax eggs, or Ener-G egg replacer.

Saturday: Reader’s Choice. You’re on your own 🙂 You can do it!

Sunday: Coconut Curry Chicken Tacos with Pomegranate Rice– To make vegan, try sauteing a bunch of veggies, and using those instead of chicken. This is another instance where you can use lettuce wraps instead of tortillas.  Can’t find a pomegranate? Skip it! You could try a handful of raisins instead.

Easy re-set

There are times in life when you eat too much tan food. You don’t eat enough green food. You drink too much alcohol. You don’t drink enough water. Many of these times in life occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It’s okay. It’s natural to crave more carbs and sugar in the winter…that’s just how our brains were created.

Well, what should you do when you’ve eaten the final cookie and washed it down with the last few drops of egg nog? You re-set. What you do NOT do, is “detox.” Detoxes are harsh, restrictive, and unrealistic. They are begun with the purest of intentions…and typically end in frustration and overeating. I have done many stupid detoxes in my day…maybe I just don’t have the mental capacity for it, but they have never ended with me turning over a new leaf…”Now I hate sugar!!! Get that f*&#ing Prosecco out of my face! Bring on the cabbage!!!!” No, ma’am. When you put extreme limits and boundaries on yourself, you are setting yourself up for failure. Then when you slip, you get pissed. “Well, I already ate one. Might as well keep going.” You don’t need to eat boiled spinach water for 2 weeks to get back on track. Your body knows how to detoxify itself. It’s like, why we have organs and stuff.

Why not begin 2016 in a kinder, more gentle way? Why not begin 2016 in a way that won’t annoy everyone around you? Don’t worry! This is easy peasy lemon squeezey. I got you. Here’s the solution…clean eating! Whaaaaaaaa?!?!?!?! Crazy, right? I’m sorry it’s not more exciting. But, that’s all you’re going to do. You’re going to plan ahead. You’re going to make grocery lists and stick to them. You’re going to eat food, not products…if it wasn’t in your great grandma’s kitchen, it shouldn’t be in yours ( I do believe in moderation, but we’ve got a little cleaning up to do). You’re going to limit your alcohol and sugar intake. If you really feel like kicking ass, you’re going to get some fresh air and get enough sleep.

Take into consideration the recipes that I post…they are all still available. Start your day with a glass of water before you have your coffee. If it pleases you, add fresh lemon juice or a couple drops of lemon essential oil to your water. The lemon is very cleansing to your body. Consider taking Milk Thistle twice a day for a couple of weeks. Milk thistle helps your liver, and your liver processes every single thing you put into your body. She’s a hard workin’ lady. Try making batches of breakfast food, so you’re set up for the week, and not scrambling in the morning. Overnight oats, oatmeal “bakes”, and baked eggs can be made in large batches and will last all week. Plus, you can change up the ingredients so you don’t get bored. Let yourself have treats…but make them at home. This way you control what’s in them. And maybe don’t eat 12 cookies a day anymore, k?

This doesn’t have to be stressful. You know the answers. You know what feels right. Think of yourself as a detective, deciphering the clues to figure out what makes your body happy and healthy.

I’m here for additional information and support, so contact me! Who hasn’t done this? ↓ Freeze it, or donate it…out of sight, out of mind- better yet: stop buying it. Remember, you’re not giving anything up. You’re being smarter about it.

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I truly hope you have a peaceful, enjoyable end of 2015. See you soon!!!

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!