Friday, November 20, 2015

Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage (Paleo/Whole30)

I am on the struggle bus lately. I am being pulled in a lot of different directions and being what I want to be at all of them is getting increasingly hard. My head/logic is saying that it is ok that my workouts are taking a back seat and being reduced to 3 days a week, sometimes for only 30 minutes. My time working to compete at a level I want is done- after all, I am trying to keep up with people who get to spend more time training, and have responsibilities which are different than mine. But I have been trying to listen to my head lately and my heart is saying I am not done yet! I am not ready to let it go!! I realize I am not going to be a Games athlete, but I am not done reaching my potential in the sport. I have been trying to come to grips with it being ok, trying to take a step back for a few weeks now, but I honestly just can't... it is frustrating to watch other people train like I want to train and know that I wasn't done trying to be better. So now I have a new plan... I am doing my squats, etc. at home, I am going to Olympic lift when I can on the weekends, and I am bringing Charlie to the box with me to just get the WOD in more than twice a week. I have always been stubborn and strong-willed, I obviously still am and I see it in my child. I have an incredible support system, but every school year brings a new challenge with work and adjustments with my toddler. So far so good bringing her with me... I have gone twice and set her up in her pack and play with snacks, coloring and an iPad. The first day she interrupted my workout three times in 18 minutes but yesterday I did the whole thing (12 minutes lol) without issue. I can do this- or at least say I tired.

Stuffed cabbage has been in my life for at least eight years... my ex-husband had a polish side... but I was vegetarian our entire relationship and never ate the famed "golabki."Because I am trying to make this a paleo/Whole30 recipe I have not included rice in the recipe. But the carrots are a sweet touch that make them my own. I also made my sauce with meat because more meat means more gains. 

Crockpot Stuffed Cabbage

(Printable Version)


- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 lb Ground Pork (I used plain, not sausage)
- 2 Carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 Small Sweet Onion, grated
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced or grated
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Grate the vegetables and mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Sauce (this makes double what I used so I froze the rest)

You could also just use the canned tomato products and forget the meat and cooking :)

- 1 lb Sausage, loose
- 1 Small Sweet Onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 28-ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 28-oz Can Tomato Sauce
- 10 oz Can Tomato Paste
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add in a drizzle of olive oil and cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the sausage and cook through. 
2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer 20-30 minutes.  

Boiling the Cabbage:

1.  In a large stock pot boil water. Core the cabbage and place it in the water. Within 5 minutes the outer leaves will start to soften. As they get soft peel them off, keeping them whole. I rolled as I peeled, but you could peel 12-15 leaves and then begin. If the leaves become too soft just discard them and using ones closer to the middle. This entire process took me less than 10 minutes. 


1. In a slow-cooker, add half the sauce.
2. Depending on the size of the leaves, add two tablespoon fulls of filling to the end closest to where the core was. Fold in the sides and roll it tight like a burrito. Place it fold side down in the slow cooker.
3. Continue until you are out of meat. You should have between 10-12 cabbage rolls. Top everything with the remaining sauce. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Homemade Granola with Pomegranate and Banana

Phew... sorry! Super delayed on posting lately because of my work schedule. Between the students/parents asking for extra credit and grade bumps I am responding to and the mass grading I am doing I have been so busy and so tired. Matt has been helping me like crazy so I can grade at night and Charlie has been involved in the kitchen and helped toss the salad for dinner. So important for me to teach her that food doesn't naturally come out of a box, freezer section, or package. 

I also did a competition for fun with my sister. We ironically have never dressed up as Thing 1 and Thing 2... it was great to compete with just her. We had some good workouts and some that could've gone better but we finished in the top 5 girl-girl teams and both hit PRs on our deadlifts- I am finally in the 300 club (310lbs to be exact!)

Pomegranates have been on sale recently and with the holidays coming up, the bright red color and tartness reminds me of the cranberries you see in everything. I am experimenting with them in brussel sprouts and some other dishes. :) Either way, this was a delicious breakfast that made me not miss cereal in the slightest.

Homemade Granola with Pomegranate and Banana

For the Granola-
keep all the nuts unsalted and raw if you can, if you can't, find them blanched or dry roasted... still no salt!
- 1 Cup Pecans, chopped
- 1 Cup Walnuts, chopped
- 1 Cup Almonds, chopped
- 1 Cup Coconut- Unsweetened, Finely Shredded
- 1 Cup Dried Cranberries, unsweetened
- 2 Tbsp Almond Butter (or Sunbutter)
- 1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined
2. Spread into an even later onto a parchment lined baking sheet
3. Bake 15-20 minutes. Stir at the 10 minute mark. REALLY watch it after 15 minutes. It will go from perfect to burned quickly. Take it out of the oven before you think it is ready- it will harder and clump as it cools. Store what you don't use in an air tight container.

Putting the bowl together-

- 1/2 Banana
- 1/4 Pomegranate, seeds removed
- 1/2 Cup Granola
- Milk of your Choice
- Splash of Vanilla* Opional

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Baked Lemon-Garlic Salmon with Vegetables

This Halloween was Charlie's first time trick-or-treating with me. Last year it was way to cold and miserable out. This year we did the whole sh-bang.... apple picked, went to get cider, went to the pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, roasted seeds... woohoo! Can't wait for thanksgiving now. 

This dish was inspired by a chicken one I saw in a magazine. It was actually an add for flavored butter! But I made my one and I am definitely a fan of one-pan meals! 

Baked Lemon-garlic Salmon with Vegetables

(Printable Version)

- 2 lbs Salmon, skin on (Four 1/2-pound filets)
- 1 Stick Grass-fed Butter, room temperature
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced finely or with a micro-plane grater
- 1 Lemon- zest and juice
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Dried Parsley 
- 2 Bunches Asparagus (about 2 lbs), trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1/2 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. In a bowl, mash the softened butter with the zest of one lemon, juice of half the lemon, the garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. If it is not well combine you could melt it in the microwave or a pot slightly until it is smooth. Place it in the fridge/freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden. 

2. Cut the asparagus and tomatoes.
3. Drizzle a glass (9x11) baking dish with olive oil. Arrange the salmon skin side down and surround it with the veggies. 
4. Put 1-2 tablespoons of butter on each filet and the rest on the vegetables. Slice the other half of the lemon and also put those in the dish. 

5. Bake 35-40 minutes until the salmon is slightly firm and cooked through. (This would vary with the thickness of your filets)