Monday Meals: Good Week

Peaches and granola

This will be the last “Monday Meals” but don’t worry, I’ll still be sharing all of our eats with you!  Monday through Thursday will be a recap of meals and exercise for that day.  Those posts will go up at the end of the day. Fridays will be rotating topics that include recipes and the weekend will be time off for play!

I really want to get this blog back to it’s roots, which is about living a healthy and active lifestyle by focusing on real whole foods and doing things we love.

Plus these Monday posts were just getting way too long and can’t contain all of the deliciousness!

New schedule starts tomorrow so look for that post at the end of the day.

Alright so let’s recap last week!

BREAKFAST:

Peaches and granola

PEACHES!  They have finally started showing up at the farmer’s markets and I am stoked!  Colorado peaches are amazing and their season is very short.  If you see them, grab them while you can!

Peaches with a little sprinkle of grain free granola.  This breakfast rocked, it was sweet from the peaches and the granola helped keep me full for several hours.

Scrambled eggs and sausage

This was a second breakfast.  I had a big bowl of peaches one morning (with no granola) but once we got back from our big walk with the dogs, I was starving!  So I made a potato-less hash.  Scrambled eggs, sliced up chicken sausage, and peppers and onions.  Totally hit the spot!

Kale and sausage

A huge bowl of sauteed kale with kielbasa and shredded carrots.  Cooked up in some ghee and seasoned with Flavor God’s Spicy Everything blend.

Protein + greens are a favorite next to soup!

Kale rice bowl

Leftover rice that I cooked up in some lard with a little tomato paste and seasoned with chili powder.  Then I added in some kale and cooked everything until the kale wilted down and cooked through.

Not as hardy as sausage but still very satisfying and would make a great post workout breakfast.

Granola and bacon

Poor man’s breakfast this past weekend.  We ran out of eggs!  It was tragic.  So this was some bacon, sliced cantaloupe, and granola.  Some almond milk got splashed on the granola as well.  It was good but would have been better with eggs!

Bacon and scone

More bacon and cantaloupe!  The bacon was from a local butcher that they cure and smoke in-house.  Grain free scones topped with cherry jelly.  I pitted the cherries and added them to a blender with cup of water.  I blended for a minute until the cherries broke down a little.  A little bit of sugar was added to the mixture.  In a sauce pan the mixture simmered until it reduced by half.  Once it cools it thickens up a little bit and now you’ve got a quick jelly.

And a fauxmosa to wash everything down.  OJ + Seltzer = fauxmosa  Tasty!  Plus you can add fresh lime juice or mango juice to give it a little extra kick.

LUNCH:

Kale salad, smoked salmon

Kale salad with cucumbers and carrot.  A quick balsamic dressing on top.  Allow the dressing to mix with the kale a few minutes before serving.  Helps to break down the kale and pull out some of the bitterness.  Smoked salmon on the side!

Egg, carrots, beans, guacamole

Really random lunch.  A fried egg, leftover baked beans, sliced carrot, and guacamole for dipping.

DINNER:

Cheeseburger and fries

Cheeseburger on a gluten-free bun, coleslaw, and oven fries.  I nixed the bun, I didn’t like it. It had a weird texture to it and was spongy.  Ew.  So I ate my burger bunless which I prefer!

burger, slaw, beans

Burgers take two! Leftovers with the addition of baked beans.  Both Scott and I can handle beans without it causing any distress on our digestive system (to be blunt, beans don’t give us gas) so we eat them from time to time.

pork tacos and veggie casserole

A really monotone and unappealing picture, I know!  Pulled pork tacos with a cauliflower veggie mix.  The pork butt was cooked in a slow cooker with a can of diced tomatoes, 1/2C water, with sliced green pepper and onion.  Once the pork was done, I pulled it out and shredded the meat.  I blended all of the liquid and veggies together to create the sauce. Everything was seasoned with salt and chili powder.

Served on a white flour tortilla that I ended up not eating.  It was making me feel too full too quickly, so I tossed it and ate the pork with some guacamole.

The veggie casserole was a head of cauliflower pulsed in a food processor until it resembled rice.  I sauteed that in a huge skillet with onions, peppers, carrot and corn.  Once everything was cooked, I added two eggs to the mixture and some shredded cheddar.  Everything was seasoned with chili powder and then I cooked it all again in a casserole dish till it was bubbly.

It looked like a mess but it was tasty!  We had this two nights in a row.

Mussels

Second favorite meal of the week, mussels!  I purchased these at my local Whole Foods.  With a ton of butter (seriously, like 6 tablespoons), I sauteed up some onion, jalapeno, and lots of garlic.  That all got seasoned with Lemon Garlic Lovers Flavor God seasoning.  Then I added the mussels and a bottle of wheat beer.  Put a lid on it and let that simmer until the mussels opened.  Maybe 5 minutes tops.  I sprinkled on some chopped cherry tomatoes and we dug in!

This was a lot of mussels and was plenty for both Scott and I to share.  There’s a misconception that seafood and things like mussels are expensive but they are not.

A pound of mussels (which was way over 2 dozen mussels) cost me $6.99 and that fed two people as a main meal.  That’s pretty budget friendly!

Ribeye and twice baked potato

Favorite meal of the week, ribeye steak with a twice baked potato.  So good!  And gigantic!  I did not eat the entire steak, there’s plenty of leftovers.  The steaks were seasoned with Flavor God’s Garlic Lover’s and I seared each side of the steaks and placed them on a baking sheet.  The steaks finished cooking in the oven.  It only took a couple of minutes since ribeyes are best at medium.

The potatoes were super simple, no fuss twice baked potatoes. Baked potatoes with the insides scooped out.  To that was added sour cream, cheddar, horseradish, and some green onion.  Stuffed and baked again until cooked through and bubbling.

Great eats this week plus utilizing leftovers as much as possible.  Minimal meal planning for this week because Scott and I have some big plans for the weekend!

Supplies:

Flavor God seasonings

Bacon and steaks from The Boar and Bull

Mussels from Whole Foods

Pork and eggs from Jodar Farms

Cowboy Burgers

Cowboy Burger

Cowboy BurgerI’ve been on a big burger kick lately, it’s all that I really want to eat and I’m going with the flow.  If that’s what my body wants, so be it! Burgers all around!

I wanted to make a burger that had a nice punch of flavor to it.  It’s getting to be about that time here in Northern Colorado, when roasted green chilies are going to be popping up at the farmer’s markets.  I love roasted green chilies!  You can get any spice level you like, the chilies are roasted fresh while you wait, and the smell is amazing.

I still had some roasted chilies in the freezer so I pulled those out and got to work creating this burger.  It’s super easy to prepare and tastes delicious!

 

Andrea’s Cowboy Burgers

  • 1 pound Grassfed Ground Beef
  • 2 Roasted Green Chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 Small Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Slices Cooked Bacon, chopped
  • 1/2TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1/2tsp Pepper
  • 1/2tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1TBSP Oil for cooking (I recommend Lard or Ghee)

Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and gently combine.  Quarter the mixture, and make a patty out of each quarter.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Place patties in skillet and cook on each side for about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve!

Makes 4 patties

Cowboy Burger

You can serve these however you like!  Top with cheese and maybe some caramelized onions.  I topped ours with guacamole and served them on lettuce wraps.

The roasted chilies bring a nice heat to the burgers while the bacon highlights the smokiness.  The spice level of the chilies used will determine how spicy the burgers turn out.  If you love heat, use spicier chilies!

These would also be great grilled!  Leftovers can be used right away or frozen.  To reheat, gently warm them up in a toaster oven or in a regular oven at 375 for about 10 minutes.

Have fun guys, and remember, always play with your food!  Enjoy!

 

 

Stand By Me

Me and ScottRedEnvelope recently contacted me about their “Thank Your Rock” program.  It’s dedicated to thanking someone in your life that has always stood beside you and been a great support system.  It’s about showing them how much you appreciate them being there for you. They asked if I would share my story and help spread the word about their program.

A strong support system is extremely important.  These are the people that build you up and help you achieve your goal.  They root for you, they give you cookies when shit hits the fan (or bourbon, the best kind give you bourbon), they are your go-to people when you need advice or a kick in the pants.

In order for us to achieve anything in life we do need to have that support system.  It doesn’t have to be a huge group of people, it just needs to be folks that you know are on your side 100%.

My rock is most definitely my husband, Scott.  While that might sound cliche, it’s the truth.  He’s been by my side for 16 years encouraging me and supporting me through a lot of things.  We’ve been through a great deal together, both happy and sad.  We always come out stronger in the end and it’s because of him that we are able to live the life we want verses the life we have to live.

I show him my gratitude and appreciation every single day in multiple ways.  One of the biggest things that I do for him is to make sure that he has great food to eat.

Yeah, maybe that sounds a little 50′s housewiveish, but there’s a difference between wanting to do something and being expected to do it. Scott has no expectations and he doesn’t assume anything.  He’s awesome that way.

I do this because I can.  Because I’m good at it and because I love cooking.  But I also know that he greatly appreciates having a homemade meal.  He takes care of so much around the house that this is one thing he doesn’t have to worry about.

So yes, he’s my rock.  My main support system, the person I turn to for advice, and the person who can make me laugh like no other.

Who is your rock and support system in your life?  This can be anyone in your life that helps to build you up and inspire you. If you share your story on social media or on your blog, use the hashtag #redgift and tag @RedEnvelope so that they can follow along as well!

 

Disclaimer: This is not an ad. RedEnvelope contacted me and asked me to share this story.

Monday Meals: Utilizing What’s On Hand

bacon corn slaw

It’s a fresh start to a new week!  Last week was much better than the previous one, the only time we dined out was on Sunday while we were in Boulder.

I don’t have pictures of that food because it was nothing special.  Next time I’m in Boulder, I’m hitting up the fancier farm to table joints! Lesson learned, don’t waste time at brew pubs because they don’t have any good food to offer.

There was a lot of leftovers this past week and utilizing what I had in the fridge and pantry.

This week I’m planning on spending more time in the kitchen.  I have a checklist of items that I want to get made (like stock) and I really need a kitchen day.  I haven’t had a chance to spend any significant time in the kitchen lately and it’s stressing me out.

We were busy all weekend so I also didn’t get a chance to prep for this week.  I feel a little bit behind but I think that I can catch up easily!

Let’s look as last week’s good eats!

BREAKFAST:

scrambed eggs and ham

Scrambled eggs and two slices of ham.  The ham is applegate farms and I heated it up in a skillet first then made the scrambled eggs.

sweet potato hash and fried eggs

Sweet potato hash with fried eggs.  One large sweet potato, shredded, with chopped peppers and onion.  Cooked in a skillet in a little lard until everything was cooked through.  Seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

grain free granola and blueberries

Fresh grain free granola with fresh blueberries.  I splashed on a little vanilla almond milk after the photo was taken.  I’m playing around with the recipe for the granola and using eggs in the mix as a binder so that the granola clumps up a little more.  So far it’s working but I’m still tweaking with the recipe.

baby kale and sausage

Sauteed baby kale with andouille sausage.  I used a whole package of andouille (4 links), sliced and cooked in a skillet in a little lard.  Then added in a whole 1/2 pound container of baby kale, and let that wilt and cook down.

I seasoned it with new Flavor God seasonings.  These season blends are legit!  They are handmade fresh when ordered and taste fantastic.  They are 5oz containers and for freshly made seasonings the price is spot on.  (not affiliate links).  For this dish I used the Spicy Everything Seasoning.

fried green tomatoes and fried egg

I spotted some green tomatoes at the farmer’s market this past week and immediately knew what I would be having for breakfast.  Fried green tomatoes along with a fried egg.

The tomatoes were fried in lard and I used a blend of tapioca starch and coconut flour for the coating.  Also seasoned with Flavor God’s Spicy Everything blend.

Eggs, kale, sausage

Fried eggs with leftover kale and sausage.  This breakfast was perfect fuel to deal with the crowds in Boulder!

DINNER:

veggie soup

Leftover soup that I added some diced tomatoes to for a little flavor boost.  We also had the last remaining portions for lunch one day as well.  I didn’t want to toss the last little bit and it was past the time of being able to freeze it for later.  It definitely was on it’s last leg but made for a nice quick lunch.

Salad with pulled chicken

Mixed greens salad topped with leftover chicken.  This salad was huge and so filling!  I love having gigantic salads for meals.

hot dogs and kraut

Grass fed hotdogs (Applegate Farms) topped with kraut, a side of green beans, and some onion rings.  The onion rings were premade and about as clean as you’re going to get for packaged food.  The hotdogs were amazing!  Not normally much of a hot dog fan but these really hit the spot.

hot dog salad

The next day I had the leftovers on a salad!  A little kraut, tomatoes, and I made a spicy brown mustard dressing to go on top.  It was perfect and now I think this should be on a menu somewhere.  Seriously, people would buy the hell out of a hot dog salad to go with their beer!

pork chop and corn

Looks boring but tasted delicious!  A pork chop seasoned with Flavor God’s Garlic Lovers (look I just got the seasonings last week but expect to see more of it because they are delicious) and cooked in a little lard in a cast iron skillet.  Along with fresh corn on the cob with a little grass-fed butter.

bacon corn slaw

We were out of salad stuff and I had no desire to run to the grocery store close to the weekend.  So I looked in the fridge and saw there was some cabbage that needed used up.  I made a quick slaw with purple cabbage, shredded carrot, corn cut off the cob, and some bacon.  A dijon dressing on top and I added some avocado as well.

So good that I’m definitely making the slaw again this week!

slaw and snack plate

Leftover slaw with some Applegate Farm’s pepperoni and prosciutto on the side along with a little sharp cheddar cheese.

I totally inhaled that slaw too!

Since we have been eating better for several weeks now my body has caught up with the new routine.  I’ve been hungry in the afternoons for a little lunch so I’ll be adding in lunch to the Monday Meals post.

Supplies:

All pork, chicken, and eggs from Jodar Farms.

Some veggies from the farmer’s market.

Applegate products from Whole Foods.

Flavor God seasonings

Upcoming Week:

The goal is to not eat out at all this week and looking at our schedule for the upcoming week this should be an achievable goal.

I feel like the Monday Meals posts are getting a tad long so I might break it up into smaller posts through out the week.  I’m still toying around with that idea.  Also please let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover!  Pantry staples or grocery shopping tips for example.  I’ll be sure to make a post on it and let you know when it’s up!

Have a great week everyone and get those meal plans together!

 

Monday Meals: Too Much Take Out

Lemon pepper shrimp zoodles

We had a lot of takeout this week and it was a little disappointing.  Both the food and the fact that we ordered out so much.  By Sunday I told Scott that I was done with eating out unless it’s really special and we make it count.

Meaning it’s got to be a restaurant that we know serves quality food and it’s worth the effort and the money to eat there.

Why spend money on crappy food?  This is what I was asking myself by the end of the week.

Most of us probably need to ask ourselves that more often.  Crappy food does nothing for us.  It doesn’t nourish us, it causes havoc on our digestion, and we pay money for that.

That’s just silliness.

This past week also made me realize that my body is over crap food.  When I eat it, my body reacts right away, like, “Ugh why are you doing this to me? We were eating so well and it was soooo good!  This is horrible.”

I usually end up eating an apple or something to try and make my body feel better.

This week the goal is to only eat out once or twice.  Most likely that will be on Sunday because we are traveling down to Boulder for the day. Boulder has more variety of options for food and I’m excited to see what all is available to us!

On to eats!

BREAKFAST:

Sauteed fresh corn and cabbage

Veggie bowl!  I cut the corn kernels off of the cob and sauteed that in ghee with some chopped purple cabbage, shredded carrot, and some chopped onion.  Seasoned with salt, pepper, and chili powder.  Very yummy and colorful breakfast!

Sweet potato and chicken sausage

I prepped some sweet potatoes for the week.  I peeled and chopped two very large sweet potatoes, tossed them in a little olive oil and roasted them at 400 until they were just shy from being tender.  Then I used them for breakfasts for the rest of the week.

This sweet potato bowl has roasted red pepper chicken sausage.  Everything was heated up in a skillet in a little lard and seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Having the pre-roasted sweet potatoes on hand makes things so much faster and easier to create breakfast during the week.

Scrambled eggs, sweet potato, bacon

Lots of scrambled eggs, more sweet potatoes, and a few slices of bacon.  Easy and filling!

Fried chicken and nectarine slices

Probably the saddest breakfast!  A large piece of fried chicken and some nectarine slices.  I had some leftover fried chicken in the freezer that needed used up.  I didn’t eat the coating, it’s tasty but a little too heavy.   This was the end of the week and I was running out of foods!

Plantain griddle cakes

I had some plantains that needed used up as they were getting a little too ripe.  I tried my hand at making some pancakes with them.  I’m on the right track with the batter, I just need to tweak it a little bit more.

Having these for breakfast, while delicious, my body needs a little bit more in the mornings.  Protein and fiber from veggies or fruit.  This didn’t fill me up for long and by noon I wanted to gnaw my arm off.

grain free ham and cheese handpie

Ham and swiss hand pies with grain free crust.  I need to work on this a bit more to get the crust right so that it isn’t quite so dense and can be rolled out.

There is a French bakery here that makes the most amazing ham and cheese croissants.  I tried to make clean eats version but it still needs a lot of work!  Also, I’m not at all saying that this compares to French pastries in anyway because it doesn’t.  I wanted to experiment and see if I could make a hand pie turnover thing.  Close but not quite there!

DINNER:

Takeout Pho

Last week I mentioned that we were going to have pho for dinner and we did.  It was so yummy!  I get the chicken pho with chicken broth.  The chicken is a little on the sketchy side so I try to avoid it and load up with onions and bean sprouts instead.  It was delicous!

I had the leftovers for breakfast the next morning and that wasn’t so delicious. It turned sweet and a little strange. I’m going to stick with a smaller portion next time we order out.

takeout fried rice

I also got some fried rice which was actually amazing.  It was full of flavor and not in the slightest way greasy. Now I know they used a less desirable oil to cook this in but for a treat I was pleased with it.

grain free pizza

 

This was my big kitchen fail of the week. I attempted to make a quick grain-free pizza.  I’m not sure what happened but the crust turned out awful.  It smelled and tasted like cooked shrimp.  EW  I added baking soda and vinegar to this dough hoping to get a little more rise but I think that might have been the issue.  Those two things didn’t react well with the other ingredients and so we had a very horrible tasting pizza.  Ugh.

takeout pizza

We tried to remedy that with takeout pizza which also wasn’t the best.  We tried a new pizza joint in town that was rumored to have great gluten-free crusts.  After researching, I learned that it’s a pre-made crust (from a company in Loveland but still, not house made) and is frozen.  It’s smaller in size and costs $3 more.

For my money I would be getting a frozen pizza crust that isn’t even the same size as a regular pizza AND it costs more than the regular pizza.

Sorry but I’m not that dedicated to the cause.

Gluten doesn’t give me digestion distress, it only causes me to be a little bloaty and feel sluggish.  These are things I actually can live with if the pizza is worth it.

This pizza is not worth it.  We got the regular crust and just were not impressed with the pizza overall.

Chicken and mashed potatoes

Roast chicken (sort of) and mashed potatoes and turnips.  I learned a lot from this meal.

1. You can cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker and it won’t take nearly as long as you think.  This chicken was ready in about 5 hours.  Sure the skin won’t be crispy but the chicken is tender and has a more intense chicken flavor to it.

2. My body hates turnips.  As soon as I ate them my stomach bloated up like an inflated balloon, and I was gassy the rest of the night.  TMI? You’ll live.

I haven’t had a reaction like that to a vegetable before so that was definitely an interesting experience!  But no more turnips, ugh.

Lemon pepper shrimp zoodles

Ham and cheese hand pies were not enough so I made us something else for lunch. I had a craving for seafood so I busted out the shrimp.

Spiralized three yellow squash.  Roasted some chopped tomatoes at 400 degrees.  Coated some shrimp with olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning and roasted those at 400 until done.  About 10 minutes.  Caramelized some onions in some ghee, added the squash noodles, more ghee and lemon pepper seasoning.  At the end I added the tomatoes and topped everything with the roasted shrimp.

Delicious and totally what my body needed!

Chicken soup

I used the leftover chicken and broth from the earlier in the week to make soup.  Broth chicken, shredded carrots, chopped onions, celery, and potatoes all went into the slow cooker and cooked all day long.

It was comforting and tasty way to end the week!

 

Despite all the take out, this was a great week!  I experimented in the kitchen, sure there was a huge fail, but shit happens.  I learned that I can cook a whole chicken in a slow cooker which is perfect for when I don’t want to heat up the whole kitchen.  I discovered that turnips hate me and not to ever make shrimp pizza again.

This week I’m busting out the meal plan and making sure everything is ready to go!