- 1 pound of chicken meat cut up and cubed
- 1 onion diced
- 1 8oz container of sliced mushrooms
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 2 medium sized sweet pototoes, peeled & cubed
- 6 cloves of garlic sliced very thinly (I cut mine w/a kitchen scissors)
- 1 large zuchinni sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 juiced lemon
- salt, pepper, and thyme to taste
Happy Tuesday! How was everyone’s weekend? Ours was pretty busy over here, with drill and the last of our work holiday parties plus taking care of a sick kiddo. Let’s just say, I’m looking forward to the weekend.
Last week, I was on a mission to use up some of the pantry items I’ve had on hand for awhile. There were a lot of random meals being made and at one point, I said to hubs as we sat down to dinner, “I have no idea how this is going to taste, but all these things sounded like a really good idea.” And it was. I did, however, make one meal that I knew would be a for sure winner.
Every time we have a big family gathering, my grandma makes this Oriental Salad and it’s always a hit. The salad is made with a pack of ramen noodles and you use the flavor packet as part of the dressing. It’s amazing. I would like to experiment with making the dressing completely from scratch one of these days just because I know how much sodium is in that little flavor packet. If anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears! To serve as a main meal, I cut up two chicken breasts into bite size pieces and sautéed them in sesame oil and black pepper. The chicken definitely added some staying power to the salad.
- 1/2 lb bag angel fine cole slaw
- 1 pack oriental flavored ramen noodle
- 1/2 c diced sweet onion
- 1/2 c honey roasted sesame sunflower seeds
- 1/2 c roasted almonds sliced
- 1 flavor pack that comes with noodles
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 c oil
In a large bowl, mix up all of the salad ingredients. Crush the ramen noodles up for garnish if you want to. It adds a nice crunch to the salad. In a separate smaller bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and stir. Mix well into the salad. Add in the chicken. There you have it! A salad packed with flavor that has some staying power. Win win!
This week, my meals are well-planned out but my workouts are kind of all over the place, but I’m getting it done! Here’s what’s on the agenda for this week:
Monday: PF Chang’s Asian Lettuce Wraps (thumbs up!) + Interval Barre & Running 3 miles
Tuesday: Runner’s World Meatloaf (sooo good!) + foam rolling & stretching
Wednesday: leftovers + barre bee
Thursday: Jerk shrimp stir-fry + my Air Force PT Test!! (I’m anxious to see how all the push-ups in barre have helped me!)
Friday: Mexi night + Barre & running maybe?
I’ve been putting my Runner’s World cookbook to use! I have yet to make a disappointing recipe from it and can’t wait to try out some of the desserts. It was one of the most useful birthday presents that I received last year.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite recipe book? I could always add more to my collection! My favorite would have to be a gift from my grandma. One year for Christmas, she made up books for all of the women in my family of all of her best recipes. It’s a cookbook I will keep forever!
Hi guys! I’m so so grateful that I have Mondays off. Our weekend was so jam-packed, it was nice to play catch up today-a day full of running errands, working out and cleaning. This morning, I met up with a friend for a gym date. I got there a little early and did 30 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical. She met me afterward and we did a killer lower body workout. It’s so much better doing resistance training workouts with friends!
Happy Holiday weekend! Anyone score any great black friday deals?! This is the first year I partook in the madness that is black Friday/Thanksgiving night shopping and I nearly got run over at Kohls’ for the last Shark steam mop. On Friday, hubs and I enjoyed a much leisurely shopping experience at Home Depot where we got a great deal on a dishwasher. Ours broke a few months ago and we’ve kind of put it on the back burner until now. Dishes aren’t too bad in our house since it’s just the two of us and the munchkin, but it’s nice that we will now have options.
This was my second year hosting Thanksgiving, but a first in our new house. Overall, everything went fairly well. We had a few misjudgments about the turkey, but having a double oven really helped out with things. I don’t think I will ever be without one ever again.
With Madelyn being dairy-free, this year posed some new challenges, substitutions and lots of finger crossing. I wanted her to be able to eat anything on the table. Our first dairy-free Thanksgiving was a HIT!! Everyone raved about my sweet potatoes and had some requests for the recipe, so here it is!
Dairy Free(gluten free) Soul Sweet Potato Casserole (Serves 15)
- 8 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 lbs)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups of coconut cream
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 2 cups pecans chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 Tbsp unsalted dairy-free butter (I used Earth’s Balance)
Preheat the oven to 375 and place potatoes on baking rack. Bake for about 45 minutes or until potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. When the potatoes are finished, place on a big cutting board and let them cool. Once they’re cool, cut all of the sweet potatoes down the center and scrape out the inside. Place the insides of the sweet potatoes into a very large mixing bowl. Increase the oven temperature to 400.
Next, add in the sugar, coconut cream, eggs, vanilla and salt. MASH the mixture up with a potato masher until all ingredients are combined and somewhat lumpy. Spread the sweet potato mixture into a square or oval baking dish. In a separate bowl, mash the brown sugar, pecans, flour and butter with a fork until thoroughly mixed through. Sprinkle the crumbly mixture over the top of the potatoes. Bake it until the top is golden brown, about (45 minutes).
The next dairy-free dish I made was dessert. Hubs requested a traditional pumpkin pie so I made that with dairy. But for Madelyn and anyone else who wanted some, I made dairy-free pumpkin pecan pie bars. They turned out really good, and I will definitely make them again. I preferred this pumpkin pie filling over the traditional actually and couldn’t even tell that it was dairy-free. Coconut milk and cream is a great substitute for pumpkin desserts.
DF & GF Pumpkin Pecan Pie Squares (Serves 12)
- 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used C4C)
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 can (15oz) pure pumpkin
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup pecans chopped
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- soy whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar and butter into a small bowl. With a hand mixer, beat at low speed for 1-2 minutes until the mixture is crumbly. Take the mixture and press on the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 baking pan. Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
Next, combine the maple syrup, pumpkin, coconut milk, eggs and pumpkin pie spice in a larger mixing bowl. Beat at a medium speed for 2 minutes and pour over crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Combine the pecans and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a smaller mixing bowl. After the 20 minutes is up, sprinkle pecan topping over filling. Continue to bake for about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Cut into 12 bars and serve with whipped cream.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend and spending quality time with family and friends. Today, we ventured off to Sprecher Brewery for a tour with Madelyn :-) She did surprisingly well and was a hit amongst our group. I’m off to watch some Christmas movies on the couch with Larry. Have a great rest of the weekend!
- 1 whole chicken or chicken parts with bone and skin
- 1 large white onion sliced up
- 1 head of garlic
- 3 stalks of celery plus the leafy parts for broth
- 2 parsnips chopped up
- 4 carrots peeled and chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- egg noodles broken up into smaller pieces
- chopped parsley
I’m off to bundle up for a 5k that Larry and I are doing this afternoon. It’s going to be a fast one since it’s 20 degrees out! Motivation to hurry up and get inside :-)
What fun plans do you have this weekend?
Happy Veteran’s Day to all of my fellow Airmen and Soldiers out there :-) For those serving and for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, thank you!
We spent the weekend with friends, catching up on much needed rest, cooking and taking advantage of the Jo-Ann Fabrics Veteran’s Day sales.
On Friday, I had off of work, so Larry & spent the day cleaning and doing some serious yard work and then later that night, I met up with some girlfriends from high school at a bar in the city where we grew up. It was nice to have some drinks, catch up and secure our plans for our annual girls Christmas Soirée!
Saturday I headed to the gym to test out and calibrate my Garmin foot pod. It took a dump on me right after the marathon, so my lovely friend, Kristine, sent me a new one. I “googled” the heck out of how to trouble shoot it but then was told sometimes these things just don’t last very long. My first foot pod lasted about a year before it died on me (Just to give those of you who have one a heads up). I’ve become so reliant on having one now, especially with the colder weather now upon us. It’s nice to be able to use your Garmin in doors :-) What did I ever do without that thing??
Saturday night, we had a date night in. Larry and I like to start doing these when the weather gets cool and the days get short. I pretty much create a really good dinner with quality ingredients from either Whole Foods or Outpost. He helps chop stuff up and we drink wine or beer and listen to music in the kitchen. Since having Madelyn, our date nights in don’t usually allow us to eat until about 8:30 or 9, but it’s something we both really enjoy doing and it’s a nice change of pace from the fast, week day meals that get consumed.
This past weekend, we made Bison burgers, french fries with truffle cream sauce and a beet salad. The bison burgers were inspired from a whole foods recipe, the truffle cream sauce fries came from me wanting to relive our DMK burger experience and the beet salad was a recipe from the Runner’s World Cookbook that I was gifted for my birthday :-) Just a note with the truffle cream sauce…it’s the same consistency as mayo and I cannot express the importance of adding the canola in VERY SLOWLY!! The first batch did not turn out and I had to send Larry to the store for more eggs and oil. The second batch, turned out wonderfully and I can proudly say that this weekend I learned how to make my own mayonnaise. This opens up a whole new level of cooking :-)
So why Bison as opposed to beef? According to the USDA, a grass-fed 3 ounce bison patty 152 calories and 7 grams of fat. That’s less than a broiled, 90 percent lean beef burger, which averages 184 calories and 10 grams of fat. It’s even less than a broiled, 93 percent lean turkey burger, which averages 176 calories and 10 grams of fat (source). It’s a lot more costly than beef, but I think it’s worth it because it tastes better too.
Goat Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Bison Burgers
- 4 ounces of goat cheese crumbles
- 3 Tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 1 head of garlic, minced
- sea-salt and black pepper to season
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach
- 1.5 lb ground bison meat.
Directions. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You might need to wet your hands with water to keep the meat from sticking. Form into 6 patties of even thickness. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat grill or stove. I added a little bit of Earth’s Balance to grease up the grill pan we have and to keep the burgers from drying out since Bison is so lean. Cook about 4 minutes on both sides or until desired temperature is achieved. Top with your favorite burger fixin’s and enjoy!
I’m off to drink some tea, cuddle up on the couch and start reading this for fun! I hear it’s a good one!
What’s the last book that you’ve read? I’m always looking for good recommendations!