Monday, August 22, 2016

Whole30: 1 day down, 29 to go...

I'm back. 

After a lengthy blog hiatus. 

Blogiatus? 

So, why now?

I'm back to share about my decision to do a Whole30 and bring my honey along for the ride.



We've had friends do it. I follow a bunch of people on Instagram who have done it. I was intrigued. A nutrition reset of sorts sounded good. 
So I looked into it. I read the books. 

Not familiar with Whole30*? Here are the basic guidelines, from the website: "Eat meat, seafood, eggs, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds."

The focus is real food. It is straightforward and there is no wiggle room. I like structure and rules, so it works well with my style. 

Now day one is almost in the books. Here's what we ate today:

Meal 1: Bacon, potatoes, bell pepper, and onion hash. (I found compliant bacon at our local Safeway!)
Meal 2: Chicken salad (avocado mayo, lemon juice, green onion, celery), cucumber, bell pepper, and grapes.
Meal 3: Pulled pork carnitas (Whole30 recipe), roasted sweet potatoes, cabbage slaw, and avocado.

How I'm feeling right now... Just fine. I was super tired today late morning. However, I'm not sure I can attribute that to Whole30. Because 1) I got up at 5 am to run 4 miles before my 9-hour work day and 2) I was sitting in a meeting with a lot of talking. Could be those things. Probably.

29 days to go...

*Want to read more about Whole30? Go here

Monday, May 18, 2015

Recipe: Stuffed Jalapeños

I made up a new stuffed jalapeños recipe for a dinner party on Saturday night and a family friend told me I HAD to post it on my blog...or at least e-mail it to her. I figured that the amount of time was roughly the same, so here you go!


I apologize for not having a photo of the actual stuffed jalapeños but I didn't get a photo before they were all consumed. Whoops.

Stuffed Jalapenos
Makes: 24
Calories: ~90/each

Ingredients: 
  • 12 fresh jalapenos, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 8-ounce block of light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs 

Directions: 

Bake the bacon...yes, bake it!
  1. Line a large baking sheet with foil and arrange the bacon in a single layer. 
  2. Place in oven (NOT preheated), set to 400º F. 
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, maybe a bit more, until the bacon is browned and crispy. 
  4. Carefully remove bacon from baking sheet onto a paper towel lined plate. 

While the bacon is baking, prep the filling!
  1. Combine the cream cheese, mayo, chopped green chiles and shredded parmesan in a medium bowl. 
  2. Crumble the cooked bacon and gently fold into the cream cheese mixture.

Stuff the jalapeños and bake them!
  1. Reduce oven temperature to 350º F. 
  2. Divide the filling among the jalapeño halves and line up in a single layer on another baking sheet or dish. 
  3. Bake for 25 minutes at 350º F. Sprinkle baked jalapenos with bread crumbs and broil for ~5 minutes, until browned. 
  4. Let the jalapeños cool for a few minutes before serving. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recipe: Chicken & Leek Pasta

I've got a new recipe to share! Even with full-time work and grad school, I have tried to keep up with meal planning and home cooking. (Luckily, my honey is a great cook and has been helping on the cooking end.) This is important for our physical AND mental health. 

A few weeks back, we received some lovely leeks in our produce box. I promptly decided to play Iron Chef in our kitchen and came up with this pasta dish! 

Butter + Leeks = mmm...
Some sauce stuff.


Chicken & Leek Pasta
Serves: 4

Ingredients: 
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 3 small leeks, cut in half lengthwise & then white and light green parts cut into thin half moon slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/2 cup half-n-half
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan, plus more for topping
  • 8 oz pasta, such as fusilli or penne 
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: 
  1. Bring pasta water to boil. Add pasta and a bit of salt and cook al dente, according to package directions. 
  2. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add leeks. Cook leeks, stirring often, until they have softened and are starting to brown, 5-7 minutes. 
  3. Add white wine and cook until liquid has evaporated. 
  4. Add the chopped chicken, lemon juice and zest, and capers. Cook for a minute to heat through. 
  5. Stir in half-n-half and parmesan. Cook for another minute or two, until the sauce is bubbly and delicious. Season with salt and pepper. 
  6. Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour in the sauce and give it a good stir. Dish up, top with a little more shredded parmesan, and enjoy immediately. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I'm Still Here

Yep, still here!

Yes, at the beginning of 2014 I had every intention of blogging up a storm. However, shortly after setting that goal I decided to apply for grad school. Then I actually got into grad school! Fast forward to October, I've got 4.5 months of grad school (while working full-time) under my belt. 

This is my life until December 2015. I'm busy and I'm loving it. So far, I still have time to do most everything I need and want to do. I did have to let some things go, to make room for the addition of school. One thing was this blog.

Scratch that. I haven't completely let go. Now that I'm 4+ months into my grad program, I've got a good work-school-life flow going and plan to post more often. 

Stay tuned. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Recipe: Bacon, Brussels Sprouts & Potato Pizza

Potato on pizza?!

Yes!


We had something similar to this at a Yelp Elite Event a few months back and I loved it and bookmarked the idea in my brain. In addition to being delicious, this recipe is fairly quick which makes it a good weeknight meal.

I would like to point out that this is dairy free, as in no cheese. NO CHEESE. I mean, I love cheese. LOVE IT. But these toppings are good to go on their own. My honey and I discussed this fact while eating it and decided that it really doesn't need any cheese. If you can't imagine enjoying a pizza sans cheese, throw a little shredded parmesan on top before slicing and serving...but I seriously don't think it needs it.

A few tips...

Slice those potatoes super duper thin. I used a mandolin. We have one like this


Layer everything as evenly as possible.


Put the minced garlic in between the layer of potatoes and brussels sprouts...that way it will get cooked but not too brown in the oven.


Basil is awesome on this pizza but you could sub fresh parsley.
Just use something fresh. It adds great flavor and color.


Bacon, Brussels Sprouts & Potato Pizza
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
  • 1 pizza crust, prepared according to package instructions (I used the wheat pizza crust dough from Trader Joe's)
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound baking potato, sliced as thinly as possible (see tips above)
  • 6 ounces brussels sprouts, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped

Directions:
  1. Cook the bacon: Place bacon slices on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes in a 400º F not pre-heated oven, until the bacon is almost as crispy as you like it. (It will cook a bit more on the pizza.) Once bacon is cooked, remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Increase oven temperature to 425º F. 
  2. While the bacon is sizzling away in the oven, prepare your other ingredients. 
  3. Toss the extra thin slices of potato in a bowl with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. 
  4. Place potato slices in a single layer on the prepared pizza crust.
  5. Sprinkle minced garlic evenly over the top of the potato slices. 
  6. In the now empty bowl, toss the shredded brussels sprouts with remaining olive oil and layer brussels sprouts evenly over the potato. 
  7. Crumble the cooked bacon over the top of the pizza. 
  8. Bake pizza on a pizza stone or parchment-lined baking sheet for 10-12 minutes, until crust is browned and potatoes and brussels sprouts are softened. 
  9. Remove pizza from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan, if using. 
  10. Slice and enjoy!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Recipes: Oven Baked Eggs & Egg White Salad on Toast

Sooooo that blog once a week goal? Not going quite as planned. I start grad school (yay!) at the end of this month, which I anticipate will be fantastic but will add another priority to my life. A priority that will definitely come before my blog.

In the meantime, I will try to post more over the next few weeks. Up now...two ideas for super easy and healthy breakfasts.

I have three words for you:

Oven.
Baked.
Eggs.

I know it may sound strange but coming across this way of preparing eggs was seriously life changing. I make up a huge batch and have hard boiled eggs for a week. A hard boiled egg or two plus some fresh fruit is my favorite workday breakfast.

Now, I realize that making hard boiled eggs the traditional, stove-top way isn't particularly difficult but these are so super duper easy and are mostly hands off, freeing you up to do other food prep. Also, they are always cooked perfectly and nine times out of ten the shell just comes right off.

Below are the instructions for oven baked eggs, as well as a specific (delicious) use for two of them.

Oven Baked Eggs


What you'll need: 
  • An oven, preheated to 325º
  • A muffin tin
  • However many eggs you'd like to make (preferably a few days old as they seem to peel easier)
  • A big bowl filled with ice water

Directions: 
  1. Place however many eggs you'd like to make in the muffin tin -- one egg per section. 
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.*
  3. Remove from oven and immediately place eggs in the bowl of ice water to cool.
*30 minutes is perfect for our oven. You may want to test a few smaller batches to figure out what works best for you.

Egg White Salad on Toast
Serves: 1


Ingredients: 
  • 1 slice wheat sourdough
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, whites only, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • A few dashes hot sauce, optional
  • Sliced avocado, optional

Directions: 
  1. Place the bread in a toaster or toaster oven.
  2. While the toast is toasting, combine the chopped egg whites, greek yogurt and mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add a few dashes hot sauce if using. 
  3. Once the toast is ready, top with the egg salad and slices of avocado, if using.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ass & Abs -- Personal Training Update

I have met with a personal trainer twice now...and have lived to tell the tale!

First session was a few weeks ago and was a get-to-know-you type thing. We talked about my goals and he walked me through warm up cardio and stretching. Then he had me do a bunch of exercises that focused on quads and shoulders. I was sore for two days...maybe three. Not mild sore either. Super duper sore.

This morning I had my second session. I walked to the gym (3+ miles), did some stretching and a little more warming up on an elliptical. Apparently today was ass and abs day. My personal trainer called it something much more professional like "gluts and core" but, regardless, my ass and abs are now yelling at me. My trainer had me do 10,000 squats (approximately) and then had me end my workout on a rowing machine.

"Just like House of Cards!"

I don't think he's seen the show.

After another 3+ mile walk home, I'm sitting down and worried that I won't be able to stand up again. (Wish me luck.)

I may be a bit slow at the Cystic Fibrosis "Great Strides" Walk tomorrow. At least it is a walk and not a run.

Ow.