Happy 4th

Penny and AveryHappy 4th of July!  Not only is it a holiday weekend but it’s also our anniversary this weekend.  Whooo!

I have a few things to wrap up for client work today and then the rest of the weekend is free!

I was hoping to be grilling some lovely ribs and corn on the cob today but the weather may have other plans as it looks like it’s about to storm.

Our holiday meal is going to look like this:

Braised ribs with some homemade BBQ sauce.  I had to make some sauce for a client so we’ll be using that (and why I can’t share the recipe.).   But I have shared my Bourbon BBQ Sauce and Hatch Green Chili Sauce, so check those out and impress folks with homemade BBQ sauce.  Perfect for chicken too!

Coleslaw with homemade mayo

Buttery salty corn on the cob.  Not nearly as good as Ohio sweet corn but it will have to do.

For dessert, I made some clean eats friendly chocolate pudding. I will be sharing that recipe soon!  And we have some non-clean eats friendly local ice cream in the freezer.  I’m leaning more towards chocolate though!

And we’ll be pulling out some special beers from the beer cellar to celebrate!

Have a great holiday weekend!

 

Monday Meals: Looking For Lists

Roast chicken breast and parsnip mash

Ok, so who worked their meal plan last week?  I did, I did!  And I’m totally ready to kick this week’s ass and stick to a meal plan as well!

I print off the meal plan (template I use is here), fill it out and then stick it on the fridge.  I can add or switch around meals if I need to.  It’s very handy, plus I can make a shopping list right from the plan.

I want to go back to having a shopping list on my phone.  I used to use Springpad but they have closed up shop (I can’t even link to them, because they are totally gone) so now I need something else.  Does anyone use an app to create and maintain shopping lists?  I would love to hear your recommendations!

Alright, let’s get to the meals.

BREAKFAST:

roasted potatoes and spinach

 

Leftover roasted potatoes with spinach and onions.  I sauteed everything up in a skillet with a little lard and seasoned lightly with pepper, salt, and garlic powder.

YUM!  Definitely became a favorite! This would work with sweet potatoes too if you don’t eat white potatoes.

Kale, chicken sausage

Braised kale with roasted red pepper chicken sausage.  The sausage is Al Fresca brand and is delicious! Minimal ingredients, no gluten, and no additives.  In a pan, I heated up some lard and cooked the sausages first.  I removed those and added in the kale with a little stock to help the kale cook down.  Once the kale was wilted, I added the sausage back in.  Seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder (I should just start calling this my house seasoning!).  It was delicious and totally hit the spot!

Kale, sausage, parm

I made a huge batch of it so that there would be leftovers for the next day.  I did use a full package of sausage and 2 large bunches of kale (stemmed, chopped).  This time I added a little parm on top for some tangy cheese bite.

Sweet potato and breakfast sausage

Cubed sweet potato with onion and shredded carrot cooked in a skillet in some ghee and seasoned with chili powder.  I also cut up some breakfast sausage and added that to the mix.  Sadly this breakfast was completely unsatisfying and I was so bummed.  The sweet potato was taking forever to cook through and even after 30 minutes, it still was crunchy.  Ugh. The texture was completely off and left me disappointed.

Veggie quiche with grain free crust

I made a gorgeous veggie quiche with a grain free crust to chase the bad breakfast blues away.  The filling contained:

  • 5 eggs scrambled with 1/2C Whole Milk
  • Shredded Carrot
  • 1/2 small Onion, chopped
  • 2 Large handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
  • 5 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled
  • Dijon mustard
  • Horseradish

The dijon and horseradish was whisked in with the eggs.  The carrots, onion, spinach, and bacon were added to a hot skillet and cooked in some ghee until the onions and spinach were soft.   I let the mixture cool and then added it to the scrambled eggs.  Poured it over the crust and baked for 1 hour at 400 degrees.

The crust was a recipe from Beyond Bacon (not an affiliate link) with a little modification on my end.  I used butter instead of lard.  The crust was perfect! I couldn’t roll it out but was able to form it in the pie pan with no issue.  It was the best tasting crust we have ever had and beats anything I’ve made with flour.  We will definitely be making this again!

Eggs, rice, sausage

Scramble eggs with Mexican rice (I’m working on perfecting my Mexican restaurant style rice. Getting close!), and chicken breakfast sausage links.

quiche and sausage

Leftover veggie quiche and chicken sausage.

LUNCH:

Two lunch/snacks!

deviled eggs, carrots, fruit

Deviled eggs, carrots, and a huge bowl of nectarines.

pork chop, broccoli, salad

Leftover pork chop (which you’ll see in a second), broccoli that was dipped in hummus, and a salad of cucumber and chopped tomato.  Pretty simple but totally satisfying.

DINNER:

Roast chicken breast and parsnip mash

Roasted up a whole chicken! (The chicken was prepared this way) Paired that with some parsnip mash.  I also made a pan sauce and thickened that with some arrowroot powder!  Arrowroot powder works the same way cornstarch does.  Mix it with a little water to make a slurry and then whisk that into the sauce.  As the sauce simmers, it will thicken up.

I liked the end result with the arrowroot powder.  It thickened the sauce but didn’t weight it down.  It also left the sauce clear and glossy while a roux can lighten the color of a sauce and cause it to be cloudy.  This sauce was way more pleasing to look at!

Chicken, cole slaw, parsnip mash

Leftovers with coleslaw!

Pork chop and sweet potato fries

Gigantic pork chops and a whole mess of sweet potato fries.  Chops were cooked in a cast iron skillet with lard and seasoned with salt, poultry seasoning, and tarragon.  A splash of stock was added and the chops were finished in the oven at 400 until the were done.

Basic sweet potato fries (peeled, sliced, oil, seasonings), also roasted at 400 until cooked and crispy.

Pulled pork, rice, and roasted squash

I had some leftover pulled pork in the freezer so I heated that up and placed on lettuce wraps.  Mexican rice, and some roasted yellow squash.  The squash had oil, salt, and chili powder.  Roasted on a baking sheet at 400 until done.  About 10 minutes, squash cooks up quickly!

Pizza

Pizza! Working on a yeast based grain free pizza dough.  Not quite where I want it to be but I’m getting close.  This was baked using a cookie sheet. It’s topped with sauce, moz, banana peppers, and spicy Italian sausage.

I used too much sauce so the pizza came out really dense!  Next time lighter on the sauce and the cheese.

salad

Ending the week with a big salad, with fresh romaine and tomato that I purchased at the farmer’s market on Saturday.  Shredded carrot, hard boiled egg, and golden beets on top.  We used premade ranch dressing from Bolthouse Farms.

The beets I prepped for salads this week.  Super easy, peeled, chopped, boiled until they were tender.  Now they are ready to eat whenever I need them.

Not a bad week!

FOODS:

All eggs, chicken, pork from Jodar farms

Lettuce and tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

 

This past weekend was a huge indulge weekend because we attended the Colorado Brewer’s Festival.  Lots of beer and foods that I don’t normally eat. I’m feeling the effects and I’m ready to get back to normal eats this week.

Our anniversary is this week so there will be some special treats but kept in check.  We will be eating well, for sure!

How were your eats last week?

 

Fitness Friday: Cramping My Style

New Balance Fresh Foam 980I had an alright week with running.  Definitely one of those times where I could have done more.

Monday I went out for an afternoon run and it was horrible.  My left shin cramped up pretty badly which then caused my calf to start cramping as well.  UGH  I had to stop 1/2 mile in and walk the rest of the way back home.  It was another 1/2 mile before my leg stopped cramping.  I tried stretching it out but that didn’t help at all.

It was so weird! I have never had that happen before.  Yeah I have had sore shins from running but they have never seized up while running.  Strange!

I took Tuesday off to give my legs a break.  I went out Wednesday morning for a run and that was much better!  I did have to stop for a walk break because my calves were getting achey.  But otherwise I was able to keep running no problem.

Friday I did an afternoon run again.  The bad news is that my stupid leg cramped up again.  The good news is that it didn’t take nearly as long to recover.  I walked a bit, tried to run again and then had to stop.

DAMNIT.

Now I’m annoyed at the situation.

My Calves are really tight and I’m wondering if it’s from the hike I did last week.  The trail had a pretty steady incline on the way up and I did have to walk through a lot of snow.  I’ve been stretching them out this week and making sure I get in some bananas!  If I don’t eat a banana, I notice that my calves are more likely to start to cramp or get a charlie horse when I’m sleeping.  It’s weird I know but if I make sure to get at least a banana in during the day then my legs are fine.  I normally eat bananas mixed in with a smoothies and it definitely makes a difference!  Apparently my body needs the potassium.

I just made a smoothie and used two frozen bananas!  Take that, stupid leg!

I’m also going to make sure I’m well hydrated and I’m going to fiddle with the laces on my shoes to see if either of those help.

My Garmin has been having trouble connecting to satellites lately.  I start it while I’m getting dressed but most days it doesn’t even connect until I’ve already started my run.  Weird.  I wonder if it’s because all the trees are full now that it’s summer?  Anyone else having trouble with their Garmin?

As always, next week I will shoot to be better!  How did your week go?

Monday Meals: Seafood Season

Blueberries, coconut cream

This week I felt like I was running a little behind since I didn’t have even the slightest outline for a meal plan.  We still ate really well (whew!) but I definitely felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants.

Because I do better with calendars and lists that are actual pieces of paper (I like to make notes and I’m still old school about some things), I have decided to print off a meal plan for each week.  I got the template from Real Food Liz, and you can get one too.  Click HERE.

Just a side note, tangent, I bought a huge Paleo bundle of ebooks a little while back and it included a lifetime membership to Good Food For Bad Cooks.  It has recipes, you can make shopping lists, there are food guides.  It’s a pretty neat little site with lots of info so if you are looking for something to help you meal plan and for more recipes, definitely check it out. (That is not an affiliate link and it’s not a plug. I just like the site.)

Ok on to meals!

BREAKFAST:

Chicken and spinach

Chicken with spinach that I added a little homemade tomato sauce too and sprinkled with parm.  It was delicious!  I always forget how much I like chicken for breakfast.

Fruit, coconut cream, almonds

Blueberries and nectarines with coconut cream, crushed almonds, and coconut flakes.

Scrambled eggs with blackbean sauce

Scrambled eggs with a black bean sauce.  The sauce was really simple.  In a blender, I added:

  • Black Beans (about 1.5 cups)
  • Salsa
  • Chicken Stock
  • Salt
  • Chili Powder

Blended till it was smooth, and heated it in a medium sized pot over medium heat.  Brought it to a simmer and let it reduce just a bit so the sauce thickened up.

Easy and quick sauce.  I froze the rest to save for enchiladas at some point.

Blueberries, coconut cream

Blueberries, grain-free scone, and drizzled with coconut cream.  Please note that if you refer to blueberries as “bluebs”, we can no longer be friends.  Sorry, but that’s life sometimes.

Veggie fritatta

Veggie fritatta!  I sauteed up some baby kale, red pepper, and half an onion in some ghee and let that mixture cool.  In a bowl I whisked 5 eggs, a splash of whole milk, and some dijon mustard.  Added in the veggies and then added that mixture to a greased skillet (I used ghee) that was heating up on the stove.  Heated it for about two minutes then put the pan in a 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  Topped with diced tomato and a sprinkle of parm.

fritatta, ham, potatoes

We had that with some ham slices and some roasted sweet potatoes.

Eggs, potatoes, sausage

Another big breakfast of scrambled eggs (look how yellow they are! The yolks in these farm fresh eggs were gorgeous.), roasted potatoes, and sausage.

smoothie, apple, almond butter

Random picture of a smoothie, sliced apple with almond butter.  Sometimes if  I have a large breakfast then I have smallish snack as lunch.  I don’t normally show these pictures because they aren’t exciting and I’m not sure if you are interested in seeing them.  If you are, just let me know and I’ll share what goes in the smoothies.  Spoiler alert, it’s usually always the same.

DINNER:

Sausage and kraut

Leftovers, sausage, kraut, and coleslaw.  I had spinach and feta sausage from Whole Foods and Scott finished the other sausages.  I have to say that I’m not super impressed with our local Whole Foods sausages.  I probably won’t get them again unless something really catches my eye.

Copper River Salmon

Glorious salmon!  Copper River salmon was in season so I stocked up and purchased a couple of sides.  Please note that if you are local, our Whole Foods does not remove the bones from the fish so either you have to do it or you can ask for it to be done.  If you ask, the workers tend to get really pissed off, at least they did for me.  And they still didn’t remove many bones, Scott and I were picking them out as we were eating.  Good times.

I brushed the salmon with some coconut oil and sprinkled with:

  • Lemon Pepper Mix (by Simply Organic)
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dill

I also laid it on some lemon slice while it roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Salmon, asparagus, rice

We had the salmon with roasted asparagus and rice.  Fish + rice is one of my favorite combinations.  We used to eat this all the time on “Fish Tuesdays” and I think I need to bring that back.

This provided us with leftovers and I was so hungry and excited when we had leftovers that I forgot to take a picture!  It was salmon with a side salad.  Nothing fancy but delicious!

Crispy shrimp and eggplant

 

And lastly, crispy shrimp with roasted eggplant.  I whisked together 2 eggs, a splash of milk, and some hot sauce.  The coating was a mix of coconut flour and tapioca starch seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.  The shrimp went in the egg bath first then to the coating. I cooked the shrimp in a cast iron skillet in some lard.

This was the first time I used coconut flour and tapioca as a coating and I really liked the way it turned out.  The tapioca provides a nice thin coating on the shrimp that really crisped up and turned a lovely golden brown color.

The eggplant was sliced, seasoned with soy sauce, salt, garlic powder and roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

For The Locals:

All chicken and eggs from Jodar Farms.

Sausage, ham, and seafood from Whole Foods.

Milk from Morning Fresh Dairy.

This Week:

I have  my meal plan all printed out and I’m ready to get started on this week!  I already have some chicken and pork chops thawing in the fridge so we will be having that this week.  The chicken will last at least two days, so that is three days covered already.  Now to figure out the rest of the week.

How did you do last week and what are your plans this week?

Fitness Friday: That Time I Saw A Moose

Moose in Poudre Canyon

This was a much better week!  I ran twice this week and went on a hike so I am pretty pleased with how the week turned out.

Tuesday I did a lunchtime run and it was so stinking hot.  I did have to stop and walk but I didn’t really care.  I was out running and that’s all that mattered. Then we took the dogs out for a walk and I ran some intervals on the trail with Penny to wear her out a little more.  We let the dogs cool off in the river which is Avery’s favorite part. He will lay down in the river while Penny will dig around for rocks.

Wednesday I went out again in the afternoon for a run and thankfully it wasn’t nearly as hot and there was a lovely breeze going.  I only had to walk once during the run which made me extremely happy!

The heat and the fact that it’s a later run (for me, I’m a morning exerciser) is why I had to take walk breaks.  Otherwise I’m willing to bet I could have run the entire thing.

The best part of the week though was going on an afternoon hike up in the Poudre Canyon.  I went with Kristin and two other ladies all of which have way more hiking experience then I do.  This is exactly why I wanted to go, to gain more hiking experience so that Scott and I can get out more and explore.

The plan was to hike the trail up to Zimmerman lake.  It is an “easy” 1 mile hike in to the lake and 1 mile back out.  Easy in quotes because for a n00b like myself, I don’t really consider anything easy.

We passed the trail head since it was very small and mixed in with another larger trail.  We stopped to turn around and that’s when Kristin quickly pulled over because there was a moose hanging out eating in the field next to the road.

Moose in Poudre CanyonNot the best quality picture I know but considering this was taken with my phone zoomed in and from the backseat of a car, it’s really not too shabby.

I could have happily went home at that point because MOOSE.  This was my first time seeing a moose and it was awesome.  His horns are starting to grow in and they are all velvety.   He was beautiful.

We headed back down and pulled back into the first trail head that we stopped at and finally spotted a sign for Zimmerman Lake trail.

Zimmerman Lake Trail Head

That’s how tiny it is so you can see why we missed it the first time around.

We were up around 11,000-12,000 feet in elevation.  The air still had a chilliness to it but not so much that it was cold.

Zimmerman Lake trail

The trail was snow covered, more than any of us were expecting.  We all agreed to push through and try to make it to the lake.

This made the trail a lot more challenging! My quads and calves were definitely working hard.

Zimmerman Lake

We made it though and it was totally worth it.  Look at that view!  Gorgeous lake!  It was very peaceful and calm up there.  Yep, I get to live here.

We didn’t stick around too long because we had somewhere to be and maybe because we also saw some bear poop.

For my first major elevation hike I did really well!  I made sure that I was well hydrated and I brought my camelbak.  When we first started up the trail I was a little short of breath but I took things slow and didn’t try to force my pace any faster.

Once we reached a certain point my breathing leveled out and I was able to breathe normally and wasn’t quite as slow on the trail.  I also didn’t get a headache.  I’m calling this a successful hike!

Afterwards we headed out to meet up with some more friends for some beers and food at a local bar located on the river.  It was an awesome day!