Aside

Leo: Fitness Intelligence

I love fitness tracking devices.  Since last Christmas I have been using the Fitbit Flex.  While I do like the program, lately it has left me feeling a bit frustrated.

It has trouble charging and then it won’t stay charged for very long.  It also isn’t very accurate, as long as your hand is moving, it counts that as steps.

Basically I could just wave my hand to bump up my stats.

Currently I am looking for something better.  A replacement that is going to be a little bit more accurate and actually work towards helping make me a better athlete.

I was approached by a company called Leo Fitness Intelligence to take a look at their new device and talk about it a bit.

Promoting crowdfunding projects is not something I normally do.  However I was very impressed with this device and the amount of things that it does blew me away.

Leo Fitness Band

It’s a band that is worn around the leg while you work out.  It monitors all of the signals that your body is putting out while you are exercising and compiles that into real time data that is easy to understand.

It helps you train better and can help you reduce the risk of injury by monitoring how you move.

Muscle Intensity

 

This works no matter what exercise you are doing, everything from biking to kickboxing.  Most fitness devices only monitor things like walking or running, big impact exercises.  This can help with a wider range of activities.

The amount of information this device puts out blows all other fitness trackers out of the water.

It’s pretty amazing!

Please go to their website to learn more about the Leo Fitness Intelligence.

The more people using this device the better the device becomes.  It learns from everyone and then takes that data to help make you a better athlete.  No other device does that.

They need support to get this moving.  There is even a Thank You program!  If you refer 3 friends who contribute to the campaign you can get a Leo for FREE.  That’s right.  They want everyone to have a chance to use Leo so they created a program to reward you for sharing with your friends.

Here’s a link to the Thank You program.

I love the idea of this fitness tracker!  If this sounds like something you would like as well, follow the links (not affiliates) and check out Leo.  I think that you will be impressed!  They have 7 days left on their campaign so make sure to head over and donate.  Don’t forget to check out their Thank You program as well so you can get your Leo for FREE!

 

Disclaimer: Leo Fitness Intelligence contacted me and asked me to share about their device.  I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Status

Going Reduced Grain

Hey all!  How is everyone’s week going so far?  Our meals have been a little off schedule but so far everything is running smoothly.  I feel much more centered than last week.  I don’t feel like I’m constantly behind trying to catch up!

Meal planning unfortunately did not happen as I would have liked but we’ve still been on track with our eats!

BREAKFAST

Steak and peppers on grain free waffles

Grain free waffles using Brittany Angell’s recipe.  I heated up some peppers and onions in a skillet and added in some leftover steak, sliced thin.   Placed on top of a waffle with a slice of swiss, which then was put in the toaster over so the cheese could melt.  Perfect breakfast sandwich and a great way to use up leftover steak!

scrambled eggs and toast

Scrambled eggs seasoned with Flavor God’s Garlic Lovers and two slices of Dave’s Killer Bread with lots of grassfed butter.

Grains! Yikes!  I’ll get to that in a minute, be patient.

DINNER

Pork taco and a side salad

Pork tacos and a simple side salad.  Ground pork cooked in a skillet with some peppers and onions.  Seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and chili powder (however much you like but easy on the salt).  Then I added in a few heaping spoonfuls of salsa and let the whole mixture simmer until the salsa reduced and thickened up.  Topped with chopped tomato and sour cream.

Salad was mixed greens with cucumber and carrot.  Very easy! I love having salads with meals because it’s quick to assemble and a great way to get in some raw veggie action.

Salmon and green beans

Sockeye salmon with red peppers and capers with a side of green beans with prosciutto and almonds.

For the salmon, in a sautee pan I heated up the peppers and capers in some ghee until the peppers softened a bit.  Then I added in the salmon and sprinkled that with some Flavor God’s lemon garlic seasoning.  I added in a touch of chicken stock, brought to a simmer and covered.  All of that simmering until the salmon was cooked through.  Remove and top with the peppers and capers.

The green beans were prepped ahead of time.  They were blanched and just waiting in the fridge to be used.  I sauteed them up in a skillet with some ghee.  Seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Right before serving I tossed them with some almonds, crispy prosciutto (heated and prepped before heating the beans), and sprinkled on some parm.

Looks fancy but it’s really simple to put together and no fussy ingredients!

SNACK

Banana ice cream with pecans

A little bit indulgent but much needed!  This was banana ice cream with bourbon butter pecans on top.

Banana ice cream is one of the easiest things to make.  All you do is put frozen bananas in a food processor with a little liquid (cream or almond milk for example) and blend until smooth and creamy.  That’s the basic concept and then you can flavor it or sweeten it a bit more.

For this version I added in some bourbon, vanilla almond milk, and vanilla extract.  Blended until smooth.

For the pecans, I sautéed them in a skillet with lots of butter.  After about 4 minutes I added in a small splash of bourbon.  Once done, I tossed the pecans with some cinnamon and coconut sugar.  I let them cool and sprinkled on top of the ice cream.

Delicious!

We have been on the clean eating and grain free train for several months at this point.  We have learned a lot during just these few months and one of the things we realized is that grain-free and gluten-free items do not work for us.  In fact, those types of things, like the grain free waffles above, do not sit well with our digestive system.

Every time we eat something like that, both of us are running for the bathroom immediately after eating.  Tummies rumbling, bloating, and hitting the bathroom multiple times for hours afterwards.

Not fun.

Clearly those kinds of items are not working for us.  So with that, instead of being grain-free we are reducing grains. Most grains don’t give us any kind of digestive distress, not like the grain-free items do.  So while we won’t be seeking out sandwiches daily or big bowls of pasta, if we feel like a pancake we’re going to eat it.

Don’t be surprised when you see some whole grain items pop back up in our eats!

Curry Chicken Salad

Curry Chicken Salad

The first time I had a curry chicken salad was at a Whole Foods in North Carolina.  It kind of blew my mind.  It was my first experience with anything “curry” and was a whole new flavor sensation to me.  I immediately wanted to recreate it and I have finally succeeded!

It’s an easy recipe and the amounts can be adjusted to however much chicken you have.  There are always leftovers when I roast a chicken and this is my go-to recipe to transform those leftovers into something tasty.

I’m going to provide rough estimates for the amounts I use for leftovers but definitely play around with this recipe to fit your tastes and for how much you want to make.

Andrea’s Curry Chicken Salad

  • 1 Large Chicken Breast, cooked and shredded
  • 3 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2C Raisins
  • 3/4C Mayo
  • 1TBSP Curry Powder (I like Simply Organic)

In large bowl combine all ingredients.  Make sure to mix well so the mayo and curry covers everything.  It can be served immediately but is best when left to sit for an hour or more.

Eat it on a sandwich, in a wrap, on top of a salad!  Or just out of the bowl, like I sometimes do. A little different than your standard chicken salad, curry brings some warmth while that little bit of raisin keeps things sweet.   It’s great for lunch during the week or for dinner on a hot summer day.  Heck, or even breakfast! No judging here.

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

Status

Back on Track

After a weekend away in Denver, I was looking forward to cooking at home and eating some good food.  We had good eats while we traveled but I still got off track a little bit and didn’t eat as well as I would have liked.

We usually only had two meals and I realized that three works for me now.  Even if “lunch” is on the small side.  A little something to keep me going.

I also realized that when traveling, fresh fruit and produce seem to take a backseat.  Not because I didn’t want it but because it’s not offered up as much in restaurants.

I find this very interesting!

Lack of freshness definitely caught up to me and made me feel a little on the blah side.  I was ready to be in my kitchen eating some real foods.

BREAKFAST

Kale and bean soupFirst day back, I needed soup ASAP.  Full of greens and homemade broth to welcome me back and get my body back in balance.

It also had white beans and I chopped up some leftover smoked sausage and turkey we had from dinner the previous day.  Full of veggies, this soup hit the spot!

bananas and grain free granola

A little lighter the next day, some bananas with grain free granola.  With a splash of almond milk after the picture was taken.

Fried eggs with avocado salad

Today was a little bit more hardy, friend eggs with an avocado side salad.  The eggs were fried in ghee and sprinkled with a little garlic powder and chili powder.

The side salad is simply some chopped romaine, chopped avocado, and then I topped that with a little bit of salsa after the picture was taken.

LUNCH

Salad and hotdogs

Easy salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, and carrot.  A side of grass-fed hotdogs that I topped with spicy mustard.

Unpictured is leftover spaghetti squash and a smoothie.  Pretty basic but the smoothie was delicious!  Almond milk + spinach + 2 frozen bananas + 1/3C pumpkin puree   Creamy and smooth, sort of like pumpkin ice cream.

DINNER

Shrimp Sushi

Sushi!  We have not had homemade sushi in ages.  I couldn’t get the rice to turn out.  It took me a while but I finally figured out how to successfully make sushi rice at altitude!

Normally sushi rice is a 1:1 ratio when cooking.  However in the mountains it’s 1.5:1  So 1.5 cups water for 1 cup rice.  I made 2 cups of rice and used 3 cups of water.  It worked! Perfectly cooked and sticky sushi rice!

The filling is shredded carrot, cucumber, avocado and roasted shrimp.  The shrimp was roasted at 400 for about 5 minutes.  It was seasoned with soy sauce and chili garlic sauce.  So good!

Spaghetti squash and tomato sauce

Spaghetti squash with some tomato sauce.  The tomato sauce had Italian sausage and garlic chicken sausage added to it.  I have to confess that I hate spaghetti squash.  I decided to give it another chance and realized that I was right and I cannot stand it.

It’s mushy, stringy, and the strings have an odd rough texture to them.

I gave it another shot and I find it repulsive.  Blech!  No more spaghetti squash for me thanks!

smoked salmon snack plateI wasn’t terribly hungry for a full meal but I did want something to nibble on.  I put together a snack plate featuring:

  • Smoked salmon
  • Cucumbers
  • Cheddar Cheese (though I didn’t have any)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Red Apple

I made a quick sauce for the smoked salmon as well:

  • Sour Cream
  • Horseradish
  • Capers
  • Chopped Red Onion
  • Whole Grain Mustard

A little salmon on a cucumber with a drizzle of sauce was perfection in a bite.  This snack plate was exactly what I was looking for, full of fresh foods!  I definitely needed those crunchy fruits and veggies.

Because we were away, I didn’t have time to meal plan or prep for the week.  I feel like I’ve been playing catch-up all week long.  Thankfully it’s almost the weekend and I can be prepared for next week!

 

 

Status

Kitchen Face Time

Food Embrace has a new look!  I’m still tweaking with the template so please don’t mind the mess.  I’m hoping to add some new features and make the posts more picture friendly.

There’s also a “subscribe” button on the left side if you scroll down a bit.  You can have new posts delivered right to your email!  No spam, just blog posts.

It rained all day yesterday.  The dogs weren’t happy but I was thrilled!  Finally a break from the heat and humidity (yeah it was humid, nothing crazy but unpleasant) with cool breezes and a gloomy day.  I was able to open up the windows and get some fresh air in the house.

Plus I spent a crap ton of time in the kitchen.  I worked on a new breakfast recipe, made some stock, made mayo, worked on a new cheese cracker recipe, and made some waffles.

Alright let’s talk eats! Going over two days so I will split it back up into meals.

BREAKFAST:

Oatmeal Bar

I experimented with oat bars yesterday.  I wanted to make cookies but ended up baking these in a baking dish to make bars instead.  It’s oats, almond flour, eggs, bananas, and dried cranberries.  There’s no extra sugar aside from the small amount in the vanilla almond milk.

I wanted to make something I could store in the freezer and quickly heat up on days I’m not super hungry in the mornings.  These bars turned out very dense and really hardy.  If you guys want, I can post the recipe, just let me know.  They aren’t terribly exciting but I will definitely share if there’s interest!

Today’s breakfast was scrambled eggs with chopped sausage and some roasted sweet potato.  The sweet potatoes are leftovers from Monday and the sausage was already prepped as well.  Easy and quick breakfast to put together!

 

LUNCH:

BLT on Grain Free Waffles

BLTs on grain-free waffles!  Dripping with homemade mayo.  Mmmm heaven. I love BLTs so much and with tomatoes coming into their season I’m sure we’ll be having this a lot.

The waffle recipe is from Brittany Angell and it’s fantastic.  It’s grain free and makes the lightest crispest waffles.  They definitely remind me of the texture of a true Belgian style waffle.  Super crispy but so light they don’t feel heavy in the stomach.  I loved them so much I immediately made a second batch.  And then I plopped them in the freezer to have them on hand for more sandwiches.

I did make a few adjustment, I nixed the sugar since I wanted these to be savory to use for sandwiches and I also used baking soda instead of powder.  They turned out great though!

They do cook up really fast so keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

 

DINNER:

Yesterday’s dinner was leftovers from Monday.  Nothing exciting to look at so I didn’t take a picture.

Curry Chicken Salad

The last of the roast chicken got turned into curry chicken salad.  That’s my favorite part about making a roast chicken is having enough leftover for chicken salad.  This is going to be a recipe that I share soon, it’s super simple to make and can be easily adjusted for however much chicken you have.

We had this on lettuce boats with some carrot sticks and cucumbers on the side.  Really simple late lunch/dinner for a hot day.

Scott and I will be off exploring this weekend and checking out some new brews, pretty excited about it!

 

Walk About

Up bright and early today because we had our group dog walk at 8am.  We get together with other dog owners and do an easy walk with our dogs.  It’s exercise for dogs and owners and also allows the dogs a chance to get used to walking in a pack.  Plus it provides a nice bonding time between owner and dog.

Today was our longest walk which clocked in at almost 3 miles!  It was a lot cooler this morning than it has been so we were able to take the dogs a little further without worrying about them overheating.

Avery and Penny are so chill and relaxed the rest of the day after our group walks, which means that mom and pops can get lots of work done!

I was starving when we got back and because I planned ahead I just had to heat up leftovers. Breakfast win!

Kale fritatta with sausage

Fritatta with chopped kale (from frozen), onion, and bacon.  I topped it with some swiss cheese and tomato slices.  On the side was some pork sausage links.

For the fritatta, I used 5 eggs + a splash of water and scrambled.  I sauteed up the onion, bacon, and kale in some ghee in an oven proof skillet and sprinkled with Flavor God’s Everything seasoning. Once the onions were soft, I added in the egg mixture and placed the skillet in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

The sausage was already cooked.  I usually will cook an entire package of sausage at a time and then keep the leftovers in the freezer.  This way I can pull out what I need and easily reheat it.

Salad with tomato and avocado

Lunch was a salad with some tomato, avocado, and cucumber.  Chopped tomato and cucumber were seasoned with a little salt and chili powder.  Then I added in the juice of half a lime and a little olive oil.  Let that sit for a bit to marinade and get the juices flowing out of the veggies.  This makes a quick dressing that I used on the salad.  Easy peasy!

Roast chicken, green beans, parsnip mash

I was looking forward to dinner all day!  Roast chicken!  The chicken was rubbed down with lard (you can sub in butter or ghee if you want.  Olive oil doesn’t provide nearly the same depth of flavor but you can use that if you prefer.) and then sprinkled with Flavor God’s Lemon Garlic Lovers.  I add some water to the bottom of the cast iron skillet and roasted the chicken at 375 until cooked through.  Basting about every 30-40 minutes.  This chicken took about two hours to roast.

On the side was parsnip mash and green beans.  The green beans were simmered on the stove in water until they were cooked through.  Drained and then got tossed with butter and Flavor God’s Everything Seasoning and a little splash of water.

I also made a quick pan sauce out of the pan drippings.  I added some more water to the skillet, about 1/2 and scraped up the drippings.  I brought that to a simmer and let it reduce by half.  Bam! Pan sauce that is flavorful and doesn’t need flour or butter.

Tomorrow’s dinner will be leftovers so I only need to worry about making breakfast and lunch.  Today was a good day with the eats!

Supplies:

Flavor God seasonings

Sausage from Boulder Sausage Company

Bacon from The Boar and Bull

Eggs and chicken from Jodar Farms

Disclaimer: I list the supplies I use so you can purchase some as well and so that folks who are local know where they can find quality products.  No affiliates and no kickbacks.  I share because we should all eat well!

Monday Meals: Good Week

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 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

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!