Breakfast Soup

Breakfast Soup

Breakfast SoupOne of the first things I made when doing the Spring Clean Eats challenge, was Breakfast Soup.  I’ve seen some other paleo folks have soup for breakfast and the idea intrigued me.

I didn’t want anything too heavy, like a stew, and I didn’t want anything that was going to be loaded down with protein and veggie.

I wanted a light soup with some protein, a little veg, and lots of flavor.  I started thinking about how to approach this and decided that egg drop style soup seemed like it fit the bill.

I played around with the recipe and now have a new favorite way to eat some eggs and veggies in the morning.

Breakfast Soup is quick to make and perfect for those mornings when you might be feeling a little sluggish or chilly days when you don’t want to get out of your PJs.

If you like savory breakfasts, this soup will hit the spot!

Andrea’s Breakfast Soup

  • 4C Chicken Stock
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Soy Sauce**
  • 1/2tsp Garlic Powder
  • Large Handful (or about 2C) of Spinach, finally chopped
  • 3 Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Eggs, Whisked

In a large sauce pan, bring the stock up to a simmer.  Add in the soy sauce and the garlic powder.  Then add in the spinach and allow to cook until the spinach is fully wilted.  Start whisking the soup with a fork and slowly drizzle in the eggs.  The eggs will puff and cook immediately.  Continue until all the eggs are in the soup. Bring soup back up to a simmer.  Remove from heat and ladle into soup bowls.  Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.

Serves two.

**If you want to make this completely paleo, substitute coconut amnios for the soy sauce.

You decide how much soy sauce or coconut amnios you want to add.  I usually do 1/4 tsp but you can do up to 1/2 tsp without overpowering the soup too much.  Feel free to add in a few drops of fish sauce as well!  Or toss on some chopped cilantro as a garnish for extra kick.

We love this soup, it has a comforting quality to it and makes us feel energized.  It’s a soup that will stick with you and not leave you feeling hungry after an hour.

If you’re looking for something new to try for breakfast, go for soup!

Spring Clean Eats Total Recap

Mixed green salad

Veggie noodles in a peanut sauce with curry shrimpThe Spring Clean Eats challenge is officially over.  Thirty days of clean eats with some restrictions and limitations.  I purposely did not go crazy with the restrictions because that would have set me up for failure instantly.  My goal was to succeed and document things that I noticed.  Failure wasn’t an option.  I needed this reboot so I could get back to making more meals at home and start to feel balanced again.

Our move, which is hands down, the best decision we ever made, did strip me of all motivation to cook and to exercise.  I don’t know why but there was a definite slump.  Spring Clean Eats helped me get rid of that slump.

There are some things that I did well and there are some things that I didn’t do well.  It happens and now I know where my biggest struggles are which means I can work towards overcoming them.

Alright, let’s get started!

Personal Changes

There was no weight loss, I’ll state that right off the bat.  I assumed there would not be as I’m not the type to lose weight that quickly.  My metabolism needs to catch up and then when it does the weight loss follows.

I felt more grounded, balanced, and also more confident while I was doing this challenge.  Confident is a weird thing to throw in there, I know, but this challenge definitely effected my mood.  I felt better which directly translated into how I approached others and how I viewed myself.   I also had more energy and there was no 3pm slump.

I was able to finally break that mile hurdle and run a full mile.  And I’ve been able to do it consistently.  Eating more at home and adding in more protein was key.  Without doing that I would still be stuck at needing walk breaks.

I slept much better at night.  When I woke up in the middle of the night (which is a given, I will always and forever wake up during the night), it’s been much easier to fall back to sleep and stay asleep.

My skin has cleared up a great deal.  The month while I was doing this challenge was the first time in a long time that I didn’t break out during “that time”.  I also wasn’t moody or experienced any PMS like symptoms.

My skin also has more of a glow and natural shine to it that wasn’t there before.

Thoughts On The Food

Minimizing grains and adding in proteins to meals was definitely interesting.  It also presented some cooking challenges which I loved exploring. I learned that I love having a savory breakfast in the mornings.  It was more satisfying to me.  That said, after a while I did get tired of having meat all. the. time.  I needed a break and needed something different for breakfast.  Making paleo scones and granola was perfect for that.  Still protein based but not as intense as a portion of animal protein.  Breakfast soup was great as well to provide substance without being too heavy.

The meals also kept me full for longer periods of time.  I wasn’t hungry three or even four hours later.  Oatmeal, no matter how big of a bowl I had, never kept me full that long.  Ever.  Protein at breakfast is way more satisfying and long lasting.

That said, there were many times where I only ate two meals a day.  While that started off alright, I found that I really missed actually eating lunch and having that salad and smoothie mid-day.  So I’ll be playing around with breakfast more and adding in some variety.

Hardboiled eggs in water

Eating more protein based meals and more grain-free means that you will eat a lot of eggs.  A lot. Get to know your local farmers because you’ll need a supplier. We’ve increased our egg and chicken intake so much that we joined a chicken CSA.

The only two foods that I missed were yogurt (ok and sour cream) and cheese crackers.  I like having yogurt in the mornings sometimes and I like nibbling on cheese crackers on occasion.  Other than that I did not miss sandwiches, pastries, or things are that are carb/grain heavy.

Over all the diet went really smoothly.  I didn’t feel restricted nor did I feel like I was having to force my way through the challenge.  The 30 days went really fast!  The only thing we “craved” was some pizza and that was easily satisfied.

GF asparagus quiche

Take Aways

I never gave grains much thought.  I’m not a big fan of them and have never really enjoyed sitting down to a huge sandwich or big plate of pasta.  It just doesn’t appeal to me.  I know I feel bloaty after eating pasta and that grains affect my runs but other than that I didn’t really feel like I had a reaction to it.

The other day Scott and I split a waffle (a super large one) for breakfast, then we had sandwiches for lunch.  Because lunch was late it served as dinner and I had some junky snack later that evening.

The next day I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a truck.  I had a raging headache, I was nauseous, and had very low energy.  Normally I would have brushed it off thinking I shouldn’t have had beer after 9pm (I’m oldish, what can I say).

But now I know that isn’t the case.  I actually don’t handle that much carbs and grain all that well.  My body is not a happy camper when it’s fed stuff like that.

That’s a very interesting result that I didn’t expect to happen at all.  While feeling like crap wasn’t pleasant, I am glad that I experienced that because now I know more about what my body can and cannot tolerate.

I feel that’s the best thing about challenges like this, it opens us up to experimenting and learning more about how we function.  What our bodies respond well to and what they hate.

Will we be sticking with this diet?  Pretty much.  It works for us and we feel good while doing it.  I’ll be experimenting more in the kitchen and seeing what tasty things I can create!

 

Spring Clean Eats: Day 30, We Made It

Paleo scone, banana, coconut cream

Hooray!  We made it to the last day!  Yesterday was a pretty awesome day.  I started the morning off with a great run which always sets my day up for success.  I need to remember that more.

Paleo scone, banana, coconut cream

Breakfast was the same as yesterday, a crumbled up paleo scone with sliced banana and some coconut cream.

Mixed green salad

Lunch was a gigantic salad with:

  • Mixed greens
  • Cucumber
  • Carrot
  • Tomato
  • Red Onion
  • Cheddar
  • Bacon

I was really craving that bacon so I made sure to sneak some on the salad.

Dinner was something that Scott and I haven’t had in a while, tacos!

Tacos

And just tacos.  When we were discussing what to have as a side neither of us really wanted one.  We wanted to focus on tacos! I have no problem with this at all.  Ground pork tacos with guacamole, lettuce, and pepper jack cheese.

Scott and I also have not eliminated corn from our diet.  Both of us tolerate it just fine and both of us like it.  The corn tortillas were 365 Brand and the only ingredients are corn and oil.  Since this isn’t something we eat everyday, I’m ok with this.

We are not paleo perfectionists nor will we ever be.  We are ok with that and you should be too.

I will fully admit that I’m so glad to not have to photograph all of my eats any more!

I will be writing up a full recap post (it will be long, brace yourselves) and that will be posted on Friday morning.

Spring Clean Eats: Day 29, Steak Salad

Banana, paleo scone, coconut cream

Even though Sunday was miserable with dreary skies and wet heavy snow falling all day long, Monday was much more manageable.  It was sunny, warmer and all the snow melted.

Thank goodness!

We need to get the heck out of April and into May because I’m not enjoying the spastic weather at all.  More snow on the way Wednesday night.  Good times.

Banana, paleo scone, coconut cream

Breakfast was a crumbled up paleo scone with sliced banana and drizzled with some coconut cream!

Steak salad

Lunch was a huge salad with leftover fake’em steak’um on top.  This time when I heated up the roast beef, I added in some dijon, horseradish, and a little stock.  This made a nice little sauce that I used as a dressing for the salad.

Since lunch was late (and hefty) we had a light dinner.

Veggie tray, sausage and cheese tray

Fruit and veggie tray, some prosciutto, sliced cheddar, and some cooked sausage.  The sausage ended up having a weird texture that neither of us liked so it sat on the side mostly untouched.

Today is the last day of the challenge!  Hooray!

Spring Clean Eats: Days 26-28, Fake ‘Em Steak ‘Um

paleo_scones_test

I needed a break from the computer last weekend but it was worth it because I got a chance to experiment with recipes!

The good: I experimented a lot in the kitchen and made some delicious things these past few days.

The bad: I totally forgot to take any pictures of food on Saturday.  I spaced and was more into eating than I was taking pictures.  Whoops!

BREAKFAST

Sausage, scrambled eggs, roasted potatoesDay 26: Scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, and chicken breakfast sausage.  I really like the Al Fresco line of sausages.  They are flavorful, minimal ingredients that I can pronounce, and are gluten free. If you see them out, give it a shot!  Lots of flavors to choose from.  The roasted red pepper and asiago sausage is  great on pizza!

Day 27: Unpictured but much of the same.  Replace the scramble with hard boiled eggs and add in a big bowl of mandarin oranges.

Grain free scones and baconDay 28: Paleo scones with coconut cream sauce and some bacon.  More mandarins on the side.  I experimented making the scones and they turned out really well!  I want to play around with the recipe a little more but I’m on the right track.  Finally got some bacon! I’ve been meaning to make it for ages and had the chance on Sunday morning to cook up a huge batch.

Kitchen Tip: I make 2lbs of bacon at a time.  I bake it in the oven for more even cooking and less mess.  Cooked bacon also freezes really well and can be reheated quickly and easily!  Once you have a stash of cooked bacon in the freezer, you can pull out as much or as little as you need.

No lunch on any of those days because breakfast was filling!

DINNER

Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Day 26: Paleo Chicken enchiladas!  Recipe coming up once the challenge is over.  This experiment I am very proud of!  The benefit of using paleo tortillas is that it makes the dish way more satisfying.  I couldn’t even finish two entire enchiladas and Scott was “very full” after eating his two.  Definitely will have to make double batch next time!

Day 27: You know Saturday is Odell Day!  We got a growler and some fries and sausages from Common Link.

Steak lettuce wraps and roasted asparagusDay 28: Fake ‘Em Steak ‘Ums with roasted asparagus!  Applegate sliced roast beef, when cooked in a skillet tastes exactly like old school steak ‘ums to me.  Of course, Applegate is much healthier than the questionable “beef” from the Steak ‘Um boxes.  For me personally, thin steak with caramelized onions is one of the best combos.  I rolled with that for Sunday dinner.

I caramelized some onions in ghee and some leftover bacon fat (hell yes), then I added in a pound of the roast beef that I also chopped.  Cook for a bit and added a little Worcestershire sauce.  Placed that on some romaine lettuce leaves with shredded carrot and a small sprinkle of shredded pepper jack cheese.

Dinner was filling and satisfied an old school craving.

Getting close to the end of the challenge! Two more days!