Paleo Sweet Potatoe Pancakes

Confession: Some days, I get so lost in my own internal narrative that I forget everything I’m doing. My motor skills are seemingly in tact until I abruptly snap out of my mind while running head first in to a pole or tripping down stairs. People think I’m clumsy but the truth is I seem to get truly lost in thought while living out my day to day life. More often than not, lately, these things happen because I’m writing my next blog post in my head or planning out my next post to my challengers. I find myself so consumed by cooking and writing that everything else disappears into the back ground. The sad thing is, for the last month, none of these blog posts have actually been posted!!! I have over a dozen half written recipes or topics that need to be finished. I swear there is just so much I want to do or say and not enough hours in the day to both DO and SAY them at the same time. So this last month I chose to DO and this month Ill work on sharing a little better.

For now I’m going to post more food and hopefully get to post more than a couple pending recipes.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 Large Sweet Potatoe

1/3 Cup Almond Butter

2 Egg

1Tsp Cinnamon

(for a special treat, add three slices booked bacons bits)

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Cook large sweet potato in microwave for 5 minutes or until soft. Be sure to poke holes in sweet potato before cooking. Once soft, cut sweet potato in half and scoop out the innards into a blender. Add almond butter, eggs and cinnamon and blend until smooth..

Note: Don’t throw away the skins. You can save them to eat with a little almond butter as an afternoon snack later in the week.

Cook like a regular pancake batter and serve or freeze in single servings for later use.

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The Thrifty Girls Guide to Zucchini Pasta

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News Flash: You don’t need a million dollar kitchen filled with KitchenAid products to make healthy meals. You just need to be a little inventive. If you’re like me its a little discouraging seeing instruction like “then place the ___ in the juicer”. When I first starting eating clean all I could think is “I cant afford to buy a juicer/food processor/ spiralizer!!!!” I’ve got all the ingredients in front of my and suddenly I don’t have the tools to finish : (

Now, I’m a thrifty girl pinching pennies on the daily. Over time I have accumulated a couple of nice items in my kitchen but all in all, I’m far from Martha Stewart in the gadgets department. So far as I can tell, none of my recipes have suffered because I didn’t have a $200 mixer. You wont believe this but….. most of these fancy machines are convenience items.

My most recent discovery is by far my favorite thrifty-girl clean eating tip…. Did you know you can sub a juliane peeler for a sprializer? No I’m not kidding you! Is a spiralizer easier, yes! But it cost me $3 for my peeling kit which had a julianne peeler in it and it works just as well for straight edged vegetable pasta as any spiralizer I’ve seen. (plus its much easier to clean)

Now if you NEED those special swirly pasta shapes and thick cut fettuccini noodles, I cant help ya there. I’m just not that fancy.

So now that you have been so enlightened, what are you going to make??!!!!

My favorite quick meal is sauted zuchnin pasta and it takes 5 minutes from kitchen to table using my peeler.

What you need:

1 Julienne Peeler
1 Small/ Medium Zucchini
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic

Start by putting a small pan on medium high heat. In a large bowl, peal zucchini away from you using the peeler. The zucchini should shred pretty evenly into the bowl. No need to peel the zucchini before hand. Once that pan has heated, pour olive oil and garlic and sauté. Add zucchini noodles stirring frequently. Cook for about 3 minutes.

Top with homemade pesto, marinara or my favorite  

A Little Ranting And Some Roast Chicken

Sundays never seem to last long enough. Am I the only one who feels this way? There is just so much I want to get done on a Sunday but I want to do it all from my bed hahaha. This last week has been painful to say the least and I decided that no matter how much was on my plate, I will not leave my bed until noon at least. So here I am, watching Moonrise Kingdom and drinking coffee from bed. This is happiness right here.

My bed time last night was 7:30pm. I slept for a whole 12 hours and damnit I needed it!!!

Waking up refreshed

Waking up refreshed

Woke up this morning feeling refereshed and healthy again (thank goodness) after a week of feeling beaten and bruised.

Unfortunately, the stress of my big girl job got to me this month. I have been fighting off a cold, working my hiney off and burning the candle at both ends all month long. To top it off, my endo symptoms are back with a vengeance, this week particularly. They are so overwhelming it sucks the life out of me most days. I come home and my body feels so bruised and beaten and all I can do is climb in bed and hope I wake up better. On top of the exhaustion, earlier this week I started experiencing excruciating pain in my lower back and legs again. This is the first time since my surgery that they have gotten this bad. Most days this week I was able to make it until 3 or so without it interfering too much. But by 3 pm I am stretching every hour, popping ibuprofen and holding back tears. When you are trying to be productive, this sort of situation is nothing short of impossible. Normally I would go home early or take a sick day if necessary but that really wasn’t an option this week : ( Truthfully, the scariest part of my week was Thursday evening. After three hours of unbelievable pain, I headed to a dress fitting for a wedding I am in this fall. As I sat in the dressing room slipping on the gorgeous flowing dress, my entire right leg went numb. I lost complete feeling from my hip to my toes. All the while, my left leg remained in excruciating pain. I took a deep breath to hold back tears, unsure of how long it would last. I regained feeling after about 20 minutes, finished the dress fitting and went home to take a hot bath.

These are the moments I fear the most. There is so little that can be done when I am in them and even worse, there is nothing that can be done to prevent them. I refuse to let them interfere with my life but honestly, it was very scary. Does this mean its time for surgery again? Should I dish out the money for another docors visit? Or wait it out and see if the symtoms calm down next week? Ugh. So, needless to say, I am taking it easy today and giving my body anything it needs!

On the flip side, there are so many great things happening in my life right now that I can’t stay frustrated too long lol. I am only 5 days away from my first long vacation in 2 years!! YAY!!! I’m taking today to plan out my vacation/staycation to Portland. So very much needed. I will also be, as usual, meal planning today and decided it was absolutely necessary to FINALLY share my roast chicken recipe with the world.

Recipe for Perfectly Simple Roast Chicken

Time to cook this baby!

Time to cook this baby!

Ingredients:
1, 5 lb Whole Chicken (preferably organic, hormone free)
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 Small Lemon
5 Sprigs Fresh Rosmary
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Pepper (I prefer to use Penzey’s ground pepper)
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Preheat oven to 400.
It cannot be overstated how unbelievably easy this recipe is. Don’t over complicate it! I swear, for me, it’s simple nature makes it taste that much better haha. First step after turning on the oven is to rinse off the chicken. Reach inside and make sure that any and all remnants inside the chicken are discarded. Wash out the inside as well as the outside until the water runs through the center cavity, clean. Pat chicken dry. Place the chicken in the roasting dish (I use my favorite casserole dish because its the perfect size and allows the juices to stay close to the chicken while it cooks)
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Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the top and bottom of the chicken then coat with olive oil. Rubbing the entire chicken down, make sure that all outer surface is equally coated with olive oil, salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the onion and lemon. Now that is the step that I have been messing up for the last two years. I have been chopping the onion and lemon and putting the chopped pieces and slices in the cavity. DO NOT CHOP ONION!!!! Cut the onion in half, remove the outer skin and stick the whole onion half in the chicken. Cut the lemon in half and stick the lemon halves in the  chicken as well. Once this is done, make sure chicken is properly positioned in the pan (see photo) and top with rosemary sprigs.
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Cook chicken for aprox 75-90 minutes depending on the size of the bird.
Basting is key!

Basting is key!

Make sure to baste every 20 minutes or so with the juices accumulated in the pan.
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And voila! You have a perfectly juicy roasted bird : ) Enjoy!

 

Meal Prep: Spicy Chili

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This is hands down one of my favorite meal prep items because it makes soooooo much food and tastes amazing! Chili is just one of those things that I could eat every day and never tire of. Im sure someone will disagree with me but I feel its one of the few foods that fits all seasons. In a not so distant past, I loved to add sour cream and cheese to my chili but obviously that’s not an option anymore. So these days I add a dollop of full fat coconut milk to make the chili creamy! It works like a charm : )

As far as the meal prep portion of the recipe goes, I like to freeze the chili in 8oz jars. This makes lunch planning throughout the week so much easier. It yields 15/20, 8oz portions!!! Once the chili is done cooking I let it sit for about a half hour to cool slightly. I then divide chili into individual containters and wait to cover until they are cooled. Do not freeze hot jars. Because of this I always suggest making the Chili in the afternoon. The first time I made this I made it at 7 and ended up staying up WAAAYY too late waiting for them too cool.

This is only half of the final batch

This is only half of the final batch

Warning: This recipe is not paleo! While I eat paleo for the most part, I still struggle to cut out beans from my diet. I understand the reasoning behind not including legumes in the paleo diet but I still struggle with it. Some day I learn how to cut them out, but for now I’m going to eat my damn chili and I’m gunna like it : )

Ingredients You’ll Need:

3 Tbs Olive Oil
4 Cloves Garlic1 Yellow Onion Chopped
1 Tbsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Turmeric
32 oz of Tomato Puree
1 Jalapeño Roasted ( I put mine in the oven straight on the rack until it starts to shrivel, usually about 15 mins @ 350)
4 Cups Organic Vegetable Broth
3 Bell Peppers, chopped finely ( I prefer Red and Green but you can use whatever kind you prefer)
1&1/2 lbs Organic Ground Beef Cooked & Drained ( you can also use ground turkey here too)
2 Cups Organic Black Beans
2 Cups Organic Red Beans
2 Cups Organic Kidney Beans
2 Cups Organic Frozen/ Fresh Corn
2 Medium Zucchini

Step 1: Brown Beef in Medium Pan, drain and set aside.

Step 2: Chop onion, garlic and peppers (keep separate)

Step 3: Heat up large pot on medium high heat. Once heated add olive oil. Sauté onions and garlic
5-6 minutes

Step 4: Add salt and continue to cook until caramelized

Step 5: Add all the dry spices and sauté another 1-2 minutes.

Step 6: Add broth, peppers, jalapeños, beef, and tomato puree. Bring to a low boil and turn down to a simmer

Step 7: Simmer for 20 minutes then add beans and corn

Step 8: Simmer another 20 minutes until thickened.

I al also a huge fan of putting spur cream in my chili. Obviously this is not a “clean” option. So instead, I had started adding a dollop of coconut creme instead : )

For coconut creme, take a can of full fat coconut milk and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours of until creme and water have separated. The creme will rise to the top. Separate the creme and water in to different containers. The water can be used in smoothies throughout the week. The cream can be added straight to chili or can be used for other things including sweet coconut whip!

So there ya go! Happy meal planning folks : )

Meal Prep: GF Pancakes 2 Ways

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Between working full time, coaching and training, meal preparation has become an essential part of my survival. The best part of being single and utilizing meal prep is that more often than not, my freezer is stocked with a variety of options for breakfast and dinner. Each weekend I try to prep at least 2 dishes in large enough quantities to last me 5 + plus meals. (As a single girl this means taking a regular dish and separating it into separate single serving containers)

I’m a “hearty” breakfast gal but this weekend I cannot kick this sweet tooth. So pancakes only seemed fitting. I figured if I was going to go through the trouble of making pancakes I might as well make two batches to freeze. So next step was deciding what kind to make (I am not a plain pancake fan).This morning I made gluten free pancakes made two different ways. I prefer to use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mix.

Almond Butter and Bacon Pancakes:

Gluten  Free Pancake Mix (1 Batch)
6 Strips Hormone Free Bacon
1/4 Cup Almond/Sun Butter.

I cook the bacon until it’s crispy crispy crispy. Once it’s cooled, add it to the pancake mix by crumbling with fingers. Stir in Almond Butter.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes:

Gluten Free Pancake Mix (1 Batch)
2 Honeycrips Apples (Peeled and Chopped)
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Once all pancakes are made, I wrap in plastic and foil in groups of two and date for 6 months  out, not that they ever last that long. This allows for a quick and easy on the go sweet tooth fix.

Happy Sunday Folks.