Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad

I fall into the same category with a lot of people who do something active on a regular basis in that if I miss one day, two days, or heaven forbid THREE days I feel like I have lost all my gains, I am fat, slow, etc. I realize that just like I didn't get in shape in three days I can't lose it in three and rest days are extremely important- just sharing a bit of my crazy. So on my "rest day" today I went for a 5 mile run with my peanut in her jogger. People can bash CrossFit and injuries all they want, but my knees plagued me today on what used to be considered a short run due to my years of running marathons and the training that entails. I am obviously not an expert, but I think CrossFit's use of a variety of movements versus running's perpetual same stride movement is the issue. Yes, I did interval training while I ran, but usually, like most runners, I did my 5, 10, 20 mile runs at the same speed and the same running gate and that constant pounding has done some damage to my knees. I will add that weight training and strengthening my legs has definitely helped my knees not ache so much. I really don't want to bash running because it was so much a part of my life with training, coaching, and my family- I am just now wishing maybe I should have been doing some strength training back then so I wouldn't have this problem today!
For my mom's 50th birthday she wanted to run a marathon... so here is us running the Chicago Marathon the year it was cancelled mid-race due to extreme heat and no water on the course... but we finished then and did Chicago two more times. :) 

I don't particularly love watermelon, but my child does so I had some hanging around the house and I thought I would try and make a light snack with it- turns out feta and watermelon is fantastic and the cucumber just gives a different texture. There are not measurements with the "dressing" because it needs to be done just before eating, or per bowl, or else the color and taste are just, well, not good.

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad

- 1/4 Large Seedless Watermelon, or 1/2 a small, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 English Cucumber, halved and diced into bite-sized pieces
- Fresh Basil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Feta Cheese
- Black Pepper

1. Toss the cucumber and watermelon together. 
2. When you are ready to eat- In serving sizes of about 1heaping cup of the watermelon and cucumber, add 2 tsp (ish) of vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of feta, fresh pepper and some fresh basil (chiffonade.) Toss and enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mix and Match Meals

I am one of those people who doesn't mind eating the same thing for dinner and possibly lunch several days in a row...but I realize a lot of people aren't like that! Here is what I did for meals a week ago so that different combinations of protein and vegetables could be made for dinner to mix it up. Charlie was a big fan of the green beans.

What do you need?
I used two different protein sources- chicken and steak (skirt or flank) and three different vegetables combinations- broccoli, green beans and a medley. They were all packed in separate tupperware so I could grab whatever combination I felt like that night. To make my life even easier, I grilled all the meat- no hot kitchen, easy clean-up... plus I was using the microwave, stove, and oven for the veggies simultaneously. :) Hectic hour (including prep and clean up) but dinner is ready for the week!

Steak (1.5-2 pounds Flank or Skirt Steak)
- Marinated over night: 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (or gluten free soy sauce), 2 Tbsp Oil, 1 Clove minced Garlic, 1 tsp Grated Ginger, 2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes, 2 Tbsp Lime Juice, 1 Tbsp Honey (optional).

Chicken (4-6 Breasts)
- Brushed with Paleo BBQ sauce while grilling

Green Beans
- One bag of fresh (not frozen) green beans in a microwaveable bag. After they were cooked I added salt, pepper, 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil, 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder.

- 4 Stalks- I cut the florets off. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large cookie sheet I toss the florets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast until bright green with some crispy edges...10-15 minutes.

Veggie Medley
- 1 Sweet potato, 1/2 sweet Onion, 1 Zucchini, 1 Squash... all cut into bite sized pieces. Over Medium heat I sauteed the potato and onion until almost fork tender then added the squash and zucchini. Sprinkled in some thyme, salt, pepper, garlic powder.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Stacked Pear Snack

I have those days where she is taking a long nap I, for once, have all of my stuff I care to do done, and am ready for her to wake up again so we can go do something. Since I am usually on the go from work to gym to daycare to grocery, etc. it is odd (in a good way) in the summer to have such "down time" where I can accomplish things I usually only can get to on the weekends like laundry and cleaning. So this day I decided to make snack-time more interesting because I was waiting for her to wake up and play with me.

I know every mom struggles with different things, but the hardest part I have found about being a stay-at-home mom, even just for the summer, is the lack of interaction with other people. I love interacting with Charlie, but without any other kids or adults around, even at night since I am not married, I miss talking to people who do more than ask "doing momma?" a million times a day. If that's the biggest problem in my life right now though I really can't complain... just saying in case anyone out there feels the same. :)

So when Charlie woke up she was delighted to see this mountain of fruit just for her when she usually is given the pear in pieces. Only every other layer was chocolate chips and she soon discovered that and looked for them. Another idea if you don't want chocolate chips would be coconut. Or actually you could do all of the above. Hehehe. An apple would be great here too, but like I have said I am allergic so we don't have them in the house. I am not really sure if you would call this a recipe, but I can tell you how I did it. :)

Stacked Pear Snack

- 1 whole Pear (or apple)
- Nut or seed butter (I used almond)
- Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (non-dairy)
- Honey
- Unsweetened coconut (optional)

1. Using a paring knife, cut a thin layer of the bottom off so it sits flat. Cut the pear in 1/4 inch slices. Carefully, cut around seeds so the pear slices have holes in them but are still "whole."
2. Spread each slice with a thin layer of nut butter and sprinkle with a few chocolate chips and drizzle with honey.
3. Stack the pear back together- done!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Indian Spiced Turkey Burgers

I think this upcoming school year is going to be a little harder than others. I am sitting in a AP Environmental Conference because it is a new class that I am teaching this year and this is only day two of my four 9-hour days here and I already miss my daughter. This is not a good sign. A positive is that I am staying with my parents because they are watching Charlie for me and I am reminded how lucky I am they live so close and have such great parents. I also enjoy seeing how in love my dad is because it is like looking at how he probably was with me- again, so lucky. Anyway...FOOD!

Dilemma... you bought Garam Masala for my Tikka Masala recipe and now you only used a teaspoon and have a lot to spare. Fix? Use it with other meats and recipes! I bought this spice after coming home from Malaysia and have experimented with it in several dishes because it is nice to mix up my typical spice profile. I also want Charlie to expand her palate at a young age.

Turkey was on sale so that's the meat of choice this time, beef or lamb would also work. Watch the fat content of turkey because the very lean turkey doesn't grill well and you will need to add a fat of some kind to prevent the burgers from being too dry. I served mine over lettuce with avocado and tomato....yum!

Indian Spiced Turkey Burgers

- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- 1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1 Jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp Fat or oil (optional)

1. Mix everything until just combined. Form into four patties... remember to make them flatter and indent the middle because they will shrink and pop-up in the middle while cooking. 

2. Cook over medium heat, or grill, flipping once (about 5 minutes per side depending on thickness.) Since it is poultry do not undercook. :) Serve with your favorite toppings. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Paleo Almond Chocolate Treats

My sister, Mara, and I did a CrossFit competition this past weekend. It was Battle of the Sexes and the teams were either F-F or M-M. Men's weights were heavier, but the WODs and body weight movements were the same so male and female teams were competing against each other. We had a lot of fun and our box had a lot of teams there. It is interesting that when you start to do competitions you become friends with, or at least recognize, a lot of the same people. It is always inspiring to see so many fit people in one location.

Mara and I bet her boyfriend Alex and his partner Tim that we could beat them.... well we didn'! So I told them I would make them a treat. Here they are... I may or may not have had to make them more than once because I ate too many.

 I used dried blueberries and raw whole almonds, but any dried fruit or nut would work. I made some with no fruit at all too. I also line my cookie sheet with parchment paper and put it in the freezer for a few hours before making these so the chocolate starts to harden right away and doesn't run all over the sheet.

Paleo Almond Chocolate Treats

- 1 Cup Non-Dairy Chocolate (such as Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks)
- 15-20 Whole Raw Almonds
- 1/4 Cup Dried Blueberries (about 3 per chocolate)
- 1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- Sea Salt

1. Mix the chocolate, cocoa powder, and vanilla together. Either use a double-boiler, or microwave if you are feeling lazy and melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth.
2. Using a tablespoon, place small mounds of chocolate on a cookie sheet. Doing about 4 at a time because the chocolate will start to harden, gently put an almond and a few blueberries on each mound. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt.
3. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes until the chocolates harden completely. Store either in the freezer or fridge. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Paleo "Peanut Butter" Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gardening and cooking remind me of some of my favorite memories I had with my Grandma and cousins.  My mom has always told me to start my little girl in the kitchen and garden young...Not because she is a girl, but because it is important to know where food comes from and how to prepare it... starting her off *hopefully* with a good relationship with food and healthy choices. She really enjoys being helpful, so I have given her the task of watering the potted vegetables and flowers. We talk about what is growing and she can name the vegetables even if she doesn't know what that means yet :)

I was having one of those days where I needed everyone in the world who needed me for something to stop for one second. It didn't happen, but to make myself feel better I made cookies. I am not lying when I say the dough for these cookies is arguably better than the cookie itself. I am not a huge sweet-loving person but I literally got out a spatula and licked the bowl. You can use any nut-butter you want in these, I just used Sunbutter because that's what I had in the house.

I am competing with my sister in a Battle of the Sexes competition Saturday and I am thinking I will bring these for between events. There is nothing in them that would upset my stomach and I did the protein bites (also so good) last time.

Paleo "Peanut Butter" Chocolate Chip Cookies

(Printable Version)

- 1 Egg White
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Nut Butter
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 1/4 Cup Enjoy Life (non-dairy) mini Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1. Whisk the egg white and salt together until it is frothy.

2. Add the other ingredients besides the chocolate chips and mix until smooth. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.
3. On a greased cookie sheet, or one lined with parchment paper, scoop out 1 Tbsp balls of dough. This recipe will make about 20 cookies. Flatten them slightly with your scooper or a spatula.

4. Bake 10-12 minutes until edges get slightly crispy and they are golden brown.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Strawberry Balsamic Marinated Chicken Salad

Mara (my twin) owns her own home too and like I have said it's a lot of work for a working person who lives alone! Her boyfriend was nice enough to help re-stain her deck and our friend Josh... regional games athlete ;-) ... came along to help as well. Good karma for them. Since they worked hard all day, we fed them burgers with a fried egg on top, grilled corn, and sweet potato pouches ...yum! did a recipe of grilled potato pouches recently too... it is a trend, might need to try hers too. :)

As strawberry season comes to a close in Michigan I am not ready to let them go. I decided to use them as a sweet component in my marinade that doubled as the dressing for my salad. Read the ingredients on your vinegar, sometimes there are added sugars and things you can't pronounce...ew!

Strawberry Balsamic Marinated Chicken Salad

(Printable Version)

- 1 lb Chicken Breasts (about 3)...or more... plenty of dressing :)


- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/8 Cup Balsamic Vinegar (2 Tbsp.)
- 5-6 Large Strawberries, hulled
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Dijion Mustard
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 small Garlic Clove, or garlic powder (1/4 tsp)
- Drizzle of Raw Honey (optional)


- Mixed greens
- Strawberries, diced
- Tomato, diced
- Avocado
- Fresh Basil, chiffonade

1. Make the dressing/marinade. In a blender combine the marinade ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour a quarter of the mixture over the chicken and marinade as long as you have time for... or overnight.
2. Grill the chicken. About 5 minutes on each side over medium to medium-high heat depending on the thickness.
3. Put together the salad using more marinade as the dressing. If I had walnuts I would have used those too!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Summer Veggie Hash

This week I had one of those "ah-ha" moments when I was doing the dishes after dinner. I was just scrubbing away when I looked outside and saw my little girl riding her tricycle up and down the driveway (don't worry there's a gate and I can see her the whole time) by herself and I realized I am missing out on being a part of that because I am doing these stupid dishes. I felt awful. Most days it is just her and me and I realize that I have a lot of responsibility owning a house by myself but those tasks can wait when I am missing her childhood trying to keep up. Here are some things I think living alone with my daughter has taught me...
1) The dishes can wait. They are nagging you when your kid is slowly still eating, they are calling to you when dinner is done... but they can wait. Eat dinner at the table with your kid until they are done, do the dishes after they go to bed. Now I will say that I can't go to bed with a sink of dishes because you know what? When you live alone and you wake up the next day they are still there... stupid dishes. Note to self- dishwasher would be nice in my next house.
2) Put your cell phone down. When we are in the backyard, I don't need my phone. When we are walking to the park, I don't need my phone in my hand. When we are watching a movie, I don't need my phone next to me. I don't need to always be available and other people can wait. This generation is going to grow up not knowing what it is like not to have a phone attached to them and constantly being available to people. We need to stop trying to video tape the moment and posting it to social media instead of living in it.  Sad.
3) You can't be a "perfect" parent. Did I get a little to frustrated with her purely because I am tired? Yes. Did she poop in my backyard twice this week? Yes. Am I failing as a mother because she doesn't want to be my sweet little girl all the time as she is now asserting her independence? No. Sigh. There will be rough days, days when the laundry doesn't get done, an activity doesn't go as planned, and days when I just really need to not be needed by her every second. I need accept that those thoughts are ok and when it comes down to it, no one is perfect and the struggle to be your idea of perfection will be nothing more than frustrating.
4) My final thought is that it takes more than one person. I have said before I have a lot of help- my mom, my dad, my sister all help me a lot. There is a reason it takes two people to make a child. Owning a home on top of that is also at least a two-person job in my opinion. There is no one else responsibilities fall on  besides me. Mow the lawn, clean the rooms, take out the trash, fix things, bills, etc....all me. Watching my daughter play in the backyard of a nice home I work hard to provide for her is well worth all of it and sometimes I just need to suck it up and ask for help.

Summertime... fresh veggies and farmer's markets. Zucchini and squash are in season so I wanted to make a breakfast dish incorporating them. Plus I really think we all need more vegetables in our lives. Here is my summer veggies hash... I am thinking some turkey sausage patties and avocado or fresh tomato would be a nice addition also. :) If you have leftovers, put some chicken on top instead of the eggs and you have dinner, or lunch the next day.

Summer Veggie Hash

(Printable Version)

- 1 Sweet Potato, peeled and diced in 1/2" cubes
- 1 Zucchini, halved and diced
- 1 Yellow Squash, halved and diced
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- Eggs, I did 2 per person
- Chives (optional, for garnish)

1. Over medium heat, add some olive oil to a large skillet and toss in the potatoes and seasonings. As they are cooking, chop the other veggies.
2. When the potatoes are fork tender, about 5-7 minutes, add the squash and zucchini. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Portion onto plates and sprinkle with chives. I use the same pan to cook the eggs, saves dishes. :) Cook the eggs any way you like them, personally I like over-easy, but poaching or scrambled would work well too. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Flaxseed Paleo Pancakes

I am loving this summer. This is the first summer in a long time that I feel like I have my shit together. I realize this is the calm before the storm because I am about to go into a crazy school year with FIVE preps to teach (this is a lot for high school)- one of them being new and an AP course- but I am going this calm while I can. I have said before that teaching is the best of both worlds for me: I get to be a stay-at-home mom for a few months and I get to be a working mom. I realize that I sacrifice getting paid for the summer months, but that financial hit is worth this time I get to spend with my daughter. Today we spent the afternoon outside with her favorite friend, Henry, and played in the pool and ate homemade popsicles (strawberries, water, honey.) On a side note, I didn't know you had to soak the popsicle makers in warm water to get them out, so in my attempt to pop them out like ice cubes I broke the mold... oops.

I have made protein pancakes before (see: If Elvis were Paleo Protein Pancakes) but I wanted something closer to the traditional version. I chose to use flaxseed because 1) when I googled "Paleo Flaxseed Pancakes" I was disappointed with the results and 2) Flaxseed is really good for you. It took me no less than 6 tries to get these how I wanted them and I am sure I will keep playing with the recipe. Charlie was my tester and she loved the very first batch so much she ate THREE adult sized pancakes plus six pieces of bacon. Her enthusiasm kept me going... the diapers afterwards not so much- see my note below about flaxseed and fiber. :) 

This is me cooling off my pan by the window and attempting to be amused that my pan was way too hot and I burned the pancakes and turned my kitchen into a cloud of smoke. The Aunt Jemima look was a coincidence. 


Flaxseed is starting to get more and more hype in the food world as studies come out showing its link to a decrease in heart disease, cancer, and strokes. Flaxseed has 3 main things going for it:
1) It contains omega-3 fatty acids- ALA (plant based) Omega-3s to be specific. A high intake of plant based fatty acids have been shown to reduce signs of depression, reduce inflammation associated with asthma, and possibly protect against Alzheimer's.
2) Lignans- a chemical compound found in plants- are found in really high levels in flaxseed. Lignans have been shown to a great antioxidant and regulator hormones possibly reducing chances of breast/colon/ovarian/prostate cancer.
3) Fiber. Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber to keep "moving" through your gastrointestinal tract.

Flaxseed Paleo Pancakes

(Printable Version)

- 2 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
- 1/2 Cup Warm Water
- 1 Egg
- 1-2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 3/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder

1. Mix the flaxseed and warm water together. Add the egg and maple syrup. (I do this in my measuring cup to save on dishes later)
2. Mix the remaining dry ingredients together in a bowl. As you are whisking, slowly add the liquid and continue to whisk until the batter is relatively smooth. 
3. Heat and grease a large skillet to Medium-low heat... maybe a touch closer to medium. (For this I pour the batter back into the measuring cup) Pour a little less than a 1/4 cup into the skillet per pancake. Cook until you see bubbles form on the top and around the edges--- if you are wary check the bottom for doneness- this should take about 3-5 minutes. Flip the pancake for another 3 minutes or so of cooking. Serve with your favorite toppings.
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 112
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2 g4 %
Saturated Fat 1 g5 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 31 mg10 %
Sodium 450 mg19 %
Potassium 44 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 21 g7 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g9 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 2 g4 %
Vitamin A1 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium1 %
Iron6 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Spicy Glazed Brussel Sprouts

I have my baby girl back! YAY!! The best sight was watching her sleep in her own bed, in my house, the first night she came home. The hug I got from her the second she saw me was the second best thing. I don't know how to explain how not myself I felt this week. My house was too quiet, my days to focused on whatever I wanted to do- it isn't that she is my identity, but I like my life with her in it, she makes me a better person.

This summer I am excited to have more than just herbs growing in my garden! I have a wild black raspberry bush that is going crazy with fruit and aside from the thorns I am loving having it. I added some to my granola all weekend- yum!

My jalapenos are also producing like crazy and I was looking for some ways to use them. After my large Costco run I had a bag of brussel sprouts to use as well. I usually roast them with garlic and thought why not try them with jalapenos too? The result? So good. It is important to keep my veggie intake high, so any new way to prepare them is a priority. If you haven't tried brussel sprouts since childhood, try them again roasted. You might find you like them better than the mushy version you may have had as a kid. The first time I made these I used one jalapeno because Charlie was eating them too. The second time I added two, if you are sensitive to heat, remove the seeds and membrane before roasting.

Spicy Glazed Brussel Spouts

(Printable Version)

- 1-1.5 lbs Brussel Spouts, rinsed, botoms cut off and halved
- 1-2 Jalapenos, finely chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 Tbsp Honey

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

1. Toss  all of the ingredients except the honey together on a cookie sheet.

2. Roast for 17-20 minutes. Stir them around 10 minutes.
3. When they are firm but tender, pull them out of the oven, drizzle with honey and enjoy. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hawaiian Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Happy Fourth of July! Usually on the Fourth I am running a race in Frankenmuth, MI called the Volksaulfe. This year no one is going, but my family has been running in it for 25+ years. I remember as a kid watching my Uncle Craig jump in the river after his 20k and dancing to the polka band with my cousins. Two years ago, Charlie was 7 weeks old, my husband at the time wasn't feeling up to running, but my family was still going so I ran the 5k in his place. It was brutally hot at 97 degrees by the race start time at 10am and I had not been cleared by my doctors to exercise yet, but if you know me at all you know that I am defiant and I do what I want so I ran it anyway. I finished somewhere around 30 minutes and below is a picture of me with my sister who had run the 20k with my cousin Emily that day. I used to hate this picture and was embarrassed by my belly at the time. Now, looking back, I am proud of myself for getting back to the things that made me happy even if it was the slower, softer version of me doing them- No one has ever said it was going to be easy!

It really helps to have people in your life with similar interests and positive attitudes towards fitness. This picture is with my best friends since childhood, Shannon and Ashley, who ran the race with us one year- both were college runners and we have always cheered each other on. Shannon now has a baby girl, Ada, and Ashley got married almost a year ago exactly in Colorado. You win steins and therefore beer when you place in this race and Shannon had one a stein. I have only won one once--- 3rd place in my age group for the 20k when I was 19... no beer :(

As hard as it is to be sitting here with no Charlie today, the parade was this morning in my small town and there are fireworks and the "firecracker mile" tonight, I am going to make the best of my day because that's all I can do, right? Next year we will get to do all those things and it will make it all the more special. This recipe is inspired by something I made for her when she first started eating solid foods. She LOVED sweet potatoes so I made the grown up version like I have here, and the Charlie-version which was the potato out of it's skin with the pineapple and ham on top. It is really filling and serves 4 adults, each getting a whole potato, or more people if the adults or children only eat a half. 

For this recipe I used turkey "ham" because there are a lot of people in my life who don't eat pork. If you eat regular ham then of course you can use that.

Hawaiian Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

(Printable Version)

- 4 Sweet potatoes
- 1/3 Fresh Pineapple (about 1 cup), cubed into bite-szed pieces
- 1/2 lb Turkey Ham Steak, cubed into bite-sized pieces
- 1 Orange (zest and about 1 cup of juice)
- 1 Lemon (zest and about 1/3 cup juice)
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
- Drizzle of Honey (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1. Poke holes in the sweet potatoes and bake on a cookie sheet for 45min-1hr until soft when you squeeze them or a knife can penetrate them easily.

2. While the potatoes are baking, make the glaze. In a skillet over medium-high heat, zest 1/2 the orange and 1/2 the lemon. Juice both of them into the skillet- Measurements here don't need to be perfect- however much juice they have is fine. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced to a glaze.

3. Cut the potatoes down the middle and pour the pineapple/ham mixture in. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Paleo Egg Salad

Do you know what happens when you have women in your life that follow a similar lifestyle as you and you go to Costco together? This happens: 10 dozen organic eggs, 40 lbs of meat, bags of vegetables, amongst other things like toilet paper... almost $500 spent and 3 girls ready to make some gains and eat some healthy food. Mara and Ericka are about to start the Whole30 diet so they are really in for some fun... stay tuned!

Since we had so many eggs I decided to make some egg salad. I ate it plain with a little more cracked black pepper on top, but if you have some gluten-free or paleo bread laying around I would use that. :) I also purposely made this simple because everyone has a way they are used to eating egg salad... some people add pickles, some celery, some peppers... do whatever you want- here's the base!

Traditional Egg Salad (Paleo Style)

- 4 Eggs
- 2/3 Cup Avocado Oil
- 1 Tbsp Mustard (whole grain, dijon, whatever you have)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice

1. Hard boil the eggs. Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil- carfeully drop the eggs in. Boil for 10 minutes. Pull them out of the water and let them cool on the counter.

2. While the eggs are boiling make the mayo- put the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thick. Or use my method... put it in a mason jar and use an immersion blender- mayo in seconds!

3. Peel and chop the eggs... add about 2 Tbsp of mayo and mix. If you want more add more... put in the fridge to chill and then enjoy. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Easy Baked Meatballs with Tomato Dipping Sauce

I am on Day 3 without Charlie... if you wanted to know if I am still doing okay here is your notice that I am. :) There are two activities in this world that almost always make me happy and they are cooking and working out....therefore I am doing both every day this week.
This past weekend members of my box got together to celebrate one of the owner's birthdays. We played euchre, ate great food and chatted late into the night. After spending another night with everyone I came to a conclusion...The people at Maven are good people.

This is a picture of my dad, my boyfriend Rudy, and me showing off our guns because my dad's nickname is "Pipes" due to the muscles he has at his age (and by that I mean he's obviously really young.)

These meatballs are what I brought to the party. I did half wrapped in bacon and the other half without because some people there don't eat bacon (say what?!) I also brought two dipping sauces... one that was a combination of dates, lime juice, coconut aminos, chili flakes and water. The other is listed with the recipe below. I used red onion in mine because I had one to use up, but use whatever you have! I hate making extra trips to the store so improvise with what you have. I use my cookie scoop (about a tablespoon) when I make them so they are all the same size which means they bake evenly.

If you are wrapping them in bacon, cut a piece of bacon in thirds and wrap 1/3 around each meatball. Bake the same way and broil at the very end to make them crispier.

I ate mine over spaghetti squash, but may I recommend zucchini noodles (zoodles) instead?.... they are in season right now!

Easy Baked Meatballs

- 1 lb grass-fed Beef (makes 24-26 meatballs)
- 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp Fat or oil
- 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (or gluten-free soy sauce)
-  1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Salt 
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp Coconut Flour 
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Cumin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic in the fat/oil until translucent. Set aside to cool. 
2. Combine and spices, flour and egg in a large bowl. Mix until well combined. Add the beef and cooled onions/garlic. Mix with your hands until just combined... don't over mix or you'll have tough balls. 
3. Using a scoop or your eyes, make roughly 25 meatballs, about 1 Tbsp a piece. I put mine on a rack on a cookie sheet to catch the drippings, but just a cookie sheet would work fine. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Serve immediately, freeze for up to 2 months, or keep in the fridge up to 5 days.  

Tomato Dipping Sauce 

I use this for sauce instead of spaghetti sauce with my meatballs, but also brought it as a dipping sauce to a party. 

- 1 can 14-oz Crushed Tomatoes (or diced if you have those)
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos or gluten-free soy sauce
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Raw Honey
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder

1. In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, whisk the ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer 15 minutes. Taste to see if you need to add more salt.