Sloppy Joe Sweet Potato Dogs

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I’m ready to kick March in the rear….and hopefully the cold weather with it. I wouldn’t mind basketball season ending either since UNC has already lost. Although, I am sure I will regret saying that since my husband is taking work off to see the Red Sox opening game tomorrow afternoon. Baseball season is always an everlasting holiday in our household. This weekend’s chilly weather inspired me to make some chili…dogs!

I had about a pound of some grass fed beef that I bought on sale at Whole Foods (score)! All I did was saute some diced onion, bell pepper, and garlic clove. Once the onions were translucent I browned the beef and added chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. I then finished my Sloppy Joe sauce with a small 6 oz can of tomato paste and let my Joe-sauce simmer.

sloppyjoeWhile I was making my Joe-sauce, I took a sweet potato and cut it in half. I then roasted them face down in the oven at 400 for about 10-15 minutes.

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I was also cooking some hot dogs. Yes, that is right. I was simultaneously making my Sloppy Joe sauce, roasting sweet potatoes, and cooking hot dogs all at the same time. Just call me the Kitchen Kween. The hot dogs didn’t take long at all. I used Applegate’s Grass-Fed Beef Hot Dogs and I broiled them in the oven while the sweet potatoes were finishing up their roasting. I would have grilled them, but it was raining outside. I didn’t want to deal with that. Plus, it only took the dogs about 5 minutes to cook. Can you guess what I did next?

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Oh yeah. Is your mouth watering yet? Just wait.

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Wait there is just one more thing….

sloppydinnerAvocado to top it off! The Sloppy Joe sauce was so thick and juicy. It made the perfect leftover morning meal this morning with two fried eggs in it.

I am looking forward to April. I am hoping to not spend as much money this month, get some house projects accomplished, and finish my Whole45 of course! Hubs has also already requested another repeat meal of last night’s dinner, so I’ll throw that into the mix for April to-dos as well.

 

 

 

Day 30!

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I can’t believe today is Day 30! I seriously feel like I’m just beginning; yet I also kind of feel like a bad ass pro at the same time. I woke up super excited that today was my 30th day. Maybe even a bit too excited?

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I especially feel like a bad ass pro after the surprisingly challenging day I had….Ironically enough, my last day of the Whole30 started off its morning with a staff retreat to a cooking class! We knew we were going somewhere, but no one had any idea what we were doing until we pulled up to the location. Ha! The menu items were a crusted quiche, cornmeal fritters with bacon and corn, followed by the ooziest-gooiest cinnamon rolls. Half the time was spent cooking and the other half of the morning was eating at a family style table. Ha! I couldn’t believe the irony. I got my hands dirty and helped roll and slice the cinnamon rolls. After all, I am still a kitchen queen and I do not diet discriminate.

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The other half was a little uncomfortable. I waited for everyone to ask why I wasn’t partaking in the fruits of our labor. It was awkward being the only one not eating but it wasn’t hard at all. In fact, I didn’t once give into thinking of off-roading. I could have easily talked myself into eating with everyone else by ending my Whole30 a few measly hours early, but the thought of how I would feel afterwards trumped any mouth-watering that my have occurred. I knew how sluggish and gross I would feel afterwards. I wouldn’t want to be productive once we returned to work. I wouldn’t have any motivation to exercise because I would be too full. I was having none of that! So, it really wasn’t hard. The experience actually has given me a lot more confidence in officially finishing my 30 days and starting to transition into a more balanced day-to-day life. Perhaps, there will be a moment that arises and it will most definitely be worth it to off-road. But today was not that day. And tomorrow doesn’t have any prospects of looking that way either (unless there may be another work surprise I don’t know about).

I couldn’t even eat their fruit salad because it was glazed with honey! There were a few grapefruit and orange wedges I was able to at least nibble on. I honestly wasn’t even hungry, but I felt like I should be chewing on something along with everyone else.

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So, after I dodged my Day 30 Bomb, the rest of the day fell right into place. Once we returned to work, my co-worker and I worked out right away before I locked myself into to my office to play catch up for the rest of the day. I made a delicious salad for lunch with my own dressing.

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I took the leftover Chile and Lime Chicken I grilled the other night and sliced it with some Bibb lettuce and cherry tomatoes. I used a magic bullet to make the dressing: cilantro, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a dash of jalapeno pepper, garlic clove, lemon juice, and avocado. It was super easy! While eating my lunch, I was so grateful I pushed throughout the morning. I enjoy the food I eat now so much and am so happy I didn’t settle for the lack of quality in nutrients I put into my body. By the way, how pretty is Bibb lettuce?! It’s so wavy!

The rest of the day flew by while playing catch up. I made myself eat a serving of mixed nuts before I left work to go to my 5:30 gym class. I blew off some steam and lifted some weights and then finally came home. I didn’t feel as good as I thought I would coming home though. I feel a little bit anxious and sad. I have no idea why. Because my Whole30 is over? Because I am scared about what will happen next? Because I felt strong this morning when I thought I wouldn’t? Not to get too deep and philosophical here, but I kind of feel like this morning was a huge stepping stone for me. I have not been able to trust myself in so long. Self-sabotage was weekly, if not daily. Even though today was a success (Hell, these past 30 days were a success),  it has been a long journey to get to where I am now, mentally. I am scared about what will happen next, but today has also made me really realize how strong I am going forward.

Speaking of going forward, I had the best dinner to top off my 30th day. This past weekend I bought some Sunflower Seed Butter on sale at my local coop. I’ve never tried it and have always wanted to. Trader Joe’s sells a product, but it has cane syrup in it. This type just had one ingredient: raw, organic sunflower seeds.

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Hubs put some beef tips in the fridge to defrost this morning. We also had a bag of frozen veggies: carrots, sugar snap peas and water chestnuts. I tossed everything into the cast iron with some diced onion. After my medley cooked a bit, I mixed the sunflower seed butter with coconut aminos, lemon juice, coconut oil, and garlic clove. I dolloped my sunflower sauce on the stir fry and let it all simmer.

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Then I added salt and pepper and topped my bowl with some raw cashews.

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This was probably one of my favorite meals. I am kind of mad it took me so long to make this. Oh, I just remembered that I did just find the sunflower seed butter the other day. Good thing I have a whole jar to keep playing with!

I will post my results sometime this week. Tomorrow is my crazy busy day. Wednesday night is our concert date night. We will also be going out to eat Wednesday night for dinner. I plan on drinking a beer Wednesday night, but that is it. Hopefully I will have successful follow ups to report later this week! Happy Day, Whole30ers.

When Life Hands You Broccoli…

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First day of the week down, 4 more to go! At least for the work week anyway… They are calling for another “complex” winter storm Tuesday night. I doubt we will get anything since we are so far south and right on the coast. Still, it is kind of fun thinking that it may snow here, since it hardly ever does! I have lots of produce and frozen meat stocked up, so I’d be set just in case.

Anyway, last night I made Nom Nom Paleo’s Curried Cream of Broccoli Soup. When I went grocery shopping it was buy one broccoli stalk, get one free. Heck yeah! The broccoli stalks were so big I broke one of the little produce baggies trying to stuff the green monster in it! I came home and Googled “whole30 broccoli recipe” (naturally, of course). Anything with Nom Nom Paleo that pops up is a winner. I had mostly everything the recipe called for except leeks. Confession: I’ve never had leeks. Or if I have, I didn’t know it. And I know for a fact I’ve never bought leeks. I found out while chopping the leeks up (which I also Googled how to do) that they are basically gigantic scallions. Except we don’t use their upper green part (thanks Google!).

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See?! Don’t the scallions look like leek mini-me’s?! Lots of chopping went on in the kitchen yesterday. I had to make two runs out to the compost!

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I used coconut oil to cook the onion, leeks, scallions first and then when they were soft I threw in the broccoli and apple slices. Oh, I also threw some protein to cook in here to so I could have a whole complete meal. I used some beef!

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I then poured in 4 cups of chicken broth. I used Imagine’s Organic Free Range Chicken Broth. Ah! I just noticed they have a $1 off coupon on their website. Heck yeah! I need some beef broth for my sexy Valentines Day dinner. I also put a few cups of water in the pot to make sure all the veggies were submerged. After making the pot come to a boil, I let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then I added some curry, salt and pepper.

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So, the recipe recommends using an immersion blender to “blitz” the ingredients. Funny story. We got a hand-held immersion blender for a wedding gift. I held onto it for a few months thinking I would definitely need it for something. Then, I felt like it was taking up too much space in our small little kitchen and I decided to post it for sale on craigslist. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of the original packaging or I would have returned it to the store. After a month or two I forgot about it and then out of nowhere someone takes interest in buying it. I sold it for a good $25 bucks and a few weeks later I make a recipe that calls for an immersion blender! One of my reasons for selling it was because I had this huge-ass Ninja blender taking up space in our cabinet and that I would just use it for everything that needed mixing, whipping, blending, dough-ing, pulsing, and “blitzing”. So, I put together my ass-kicking Ninja and pulsed it a few times, making sure to control it since I knew all of the soup contents were hot. It mixed everything up so fast that I didn’t believe it was finished. I thought, for sure, it needed more blending and for a longer amount of time! The picture on the right is the aftermath of my over-thinking.

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Luckily, it wasn’t too bad of a mess! I poured everything back into the pot and put a cup of coconut milk in it to finish off the soup.

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Isn’t it so pretty?! Hubs and I both enjoyed it, even though he is dodging from the photo. He is doing the exact opposite of photo-bombing.

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dinnersoup It was so good, I had it for breakfast today (leftovers!!!). I added some bacon to it and a fried egg (duh).

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So, I had a little bit of a kitchen malfunction but overall a success. My plan for tomorrow pretty much hinges on the weather since it will involve driving over and around a river and back. I would honestly be okay if I were forced to stay home after work and not brave the roads. I would just rather be at home all snuggled up with my Hubs and my Lady baby on a cold night watching a movie.

In other news, I woke up with some annoying hint of a cold coming on. I’ve been sneezing a lot today and right now can only breathe out of one nostril. Damnit! Come on, Whole30, heal me now!! I guess even Whole30 can’t compete with this stupid weather. It is 70 degrees and sunny one day and then it drops down to freezing rain the next day. What is a wannabe cave girl supposed to do?!

P.S. My nails are looking awesome! They are long and feel strong. By the way, my version of long nails is probably someone’s version of trimmed. I usually can’t keep them long without them chipping or me biting them! They distract me sometimes like when I’m doing planks during my workout. Ha!

Luscious Leftovers

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The term “Manic Monday” appropriately details my day. You’d think people would have been hungover from last night’s Superbowl and give way for a slower start to the week. At least, that was my pattern the last two years–thanks to the Whole30 I had enough energy to take this day on! In fact, I noticeably had bounds of energy throughout the entire day right from the start when my alarm clock rang at 6:45 to my evening gym class right after work. I was able to push and give a lot more effort during my Body Blast class which felt amazing. Another thing to mention was that I never experienced any cravings in between meals like I usually do. Oh, I hope this only continues to get better and better!

Today, I was able to reap the benefits of all my time in the kitchen yesterday. All of my meals today were leftovers! And you better believe tomorrow will include a smorgasbord of revamped leftover meals as well. I usually don’t get hungry first thing in the morning so I made my morning meal to go. After taking my first sips of coffee (which is also technically considered a leftover since I brewed it the day before), I put my good ole’ cast iron on the stove top (actually it is pretty much always on the stove top) and threw some mango-spiced chicken wings in it (without the bones). I then sauteed some kale and mushrooms in coconut oil with it and then threw some eggs in and made the most deliciously flavored egg scramble ever.

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I waited until I got hungry, then ate it in my office. My co-worker said it smelled delicious and then asked if it was Brunswick Stew. I don’t know what Brunsick Stew is. I said “Nope, but it is delicious.” I have never had Brunswick Stew but according to the picture I saw when I looked it up, they aren’t even close. I’m going to assume my morning meal was so flavorful that it aroused copious amounts of memories once my food aroma hit her nose.

My “leftover lunch” was comprised of last night’s meatballs. I made a meatball salad with lettuce, carrots, meatballs (crumbled up), and guacamole. The guacamole seriously put this meal over the top. That and the mix of Tessemae’s dressing I used. I topped it off with my favorite, the Southwest Ranch, and a new one I hadn’t tried before, the Italian. It was heavenly.

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I snacked on some baby carrots (also leftover from last night’s veggie tray) before my workout because I knew I’d need the energy once the gym class started. After coming home I made tomorrow’s lunch before eating dinner. I don’t know why I always take so long to eat after working out. I think the actual work out kind of staggers my hunger for some reason. I also didn’t really want to go back into the kitchen after eating my dinner, so I got it all out of the way. And yes, tomorrow includes not-so-sloppy seconds (because their sloppy thirds!) as well.

Dinner was leftover salt and pepper seasoned wings (sans bones) sauteed with kale, butternut squash, and some bacon in coconut oil.

ImageMmmmm! Seriously, I feel like I’ve never let myself eat this good. Ever. My taste-buds are completely rejuvenated as well. Fruit tastes so sweet! And every meal I make is so incredibly flavorful–without even using spices. Just the mixing of certain veggies with one another can create the best smells and tastes. Spices just take it to next level.

I’m glad I got this post in because tomorrow is definitely going to be a doosey. I won’t be home until late and will probably crash right when I get home. Speaking of crashing, my dream last night was intense! I not only “cheated” in my dream, I had a full-fledged Binge-Fest of foods I don’t even ever eat! It was sad. I felt so incredible guilty and wanted to stop but couldn’t make myself. Is my subconscious trying to force self-sabotage? Am I over-analyzing this? I am definitely no stranger to self-sabotage, so I admit I am taking it a little too personally (with myself?! ha!). Anyway, I will stop now. Unless of course tonight’s dreams literally force me to sleep walk to the fridge and eat everything that is non-compliant. That can’t happen, right?!