Friday, June 24, 2016

Fast-ish Cinnamon Rolls- Paleo/Gluten Free

It finally happened! I finally got to stand in first place on a podium! Matt and I started my summer vacation by traveling to Holland, MI for the CrossFit competition, Duel of the Decades. This puts 20s against 20s and people in their 30s against people in their 30s, etc. Matt and I were partners for the third time- we have taken 4th twice before- once because of a scoring error and once because I suck at thrusters. :) Apparently we just needed to compete with people our own age to win. I am semi-joking. It was a hard competition- they are usually high in cardio and not in skill so almost everyone can participate. 

Matt crushed the 3 RM bench at 335lbs and I did hand-stand push-ups like it was my job- you know what got us? Goblet squats- I need to work on those! Either way it was a great day and now I can officially retire happy. 

I am not at all claiming these are healthy, but they are delicious- here's the back story-
A few weeks ago Charlie and I made a recipe from Pinterest for fast cinnamon rolls... it only made 4 so it was perfect for our family (1 for each Charlie and me and 2 for Matt.) My mom makes my Grandma's recipe every year for Thanksgiving and they are heaven- just incredibly time consuming so they are only made once a year. Afterwards I got to thinking that I could come up for my own yeast-free, version. I read a lot online about how to make a dough that was paleo that could be rolled out and after a lot of trial and error this is what I came up with- no one was sad tasting the "mistakes" so it was a win going through all the butter in the house. That being said, I was excited to make a version of that recipe that didn't involve my whole day so hence the name- "fast-ish" because they are not "fast" per se but they are faster than my Grandma's. 

 Fast-ish Cinnamon Rolls

- 3/4 Cup Arrowroot Powder (PLUS more for dusting)
- 8 Tbsp (1/2 Cup) Ghee, or Grass-Fed Butter, or Coconut Oil (I'll be honest, butter is better)
- 2 Cups Milk
- 1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Tbsp Raw Honey (omit if you want... dough just won't be sweet)
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp Ghee/Butter/Oil (whatever you used above)

1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the 1/2 cup of fat (ghee/butter/oil.) In a separate bowl, mix the arrowroot and milk until smooth- pour this slowly into the butter as you whisk (like making a roux.) Keep whisking- the mixture should thicken pretty fast and start to clump up. As soon as it does take it off the heat. If it is clumpy and separated that's fine! It will come together in the next step.
2. In a mixing bowl, add the almond flour, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and honey. Pour the roux into the almond flour and mix until a sticky dough forms. Using your hands is probably the easiest.
3. Dust a non-stick silicon baking sheet, or a piece of plastic wrap with arrowroot powder- make sure it covers the surface so the dough won't stick when you roll it out at the end. 

Pour the dough onto this and spread it out about 1/2 inch thick in the shape of a rectangle as best you can- dusting your hands helps. 

Sprinkle with more arrowroot and cover with another sheet of plastic wrap. At this point I use a rolling pin to smooth it out. Place the dough in the freezer for 10-15 minutes while you make the filling.

*PREHEAT* Oven to 375 degrees.

4. Melt the 3 Tbsp of fat for the filling, set aside. In a small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon.
5. When the dough is chilled pull it out and take off the top layer of plastic. Brush it with the butter all the way to the edges. Sprinkle it with the cinnamon/sugar. 

6. Starting at one of the short ends, begin carefully rolling, pinching anything shut that "breaks". If it sticks, use more arrowroot (it will still taste ok even as a mess.) Once you have a log, cut it in 8 equal segments. 

Place each chunk in a greased, or non-stick muffin pan. Bake 18-20 minutes until the centers are slightly firm to the touch. Let them cool 5ish minutes before taking them out. 

They are honestly better the longer they sit... the ones I ate in the afternoon after they baked in the morning were the best. 

 Big family hit!

 Don't read this until after you eat one!

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 371
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 26 g40 %
Saturated Fat 10 g52 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 41 mg14 %
Sodium 228 mg9 %
Potassium 18 mg1 %
Total Carbohydrate 31 g10 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g11 %
Sugars 17 g
Protein 5 g9 %
Vitamin A14 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium7 %
Iron5 %
* 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.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Adobo Chicken Stuffed Peppers

My favorite app has to be TimeHop... I love pictures popping up that I forgot about. Here is my peanut a few months old helping me cook... she was in the kitchen with me even then!

This weekend she was at the gym with me a lot more than usual. She does CrossFit kids and absolutely loves it, but had to stay because mommy needed a workout too. As much as working out is "my" time it isn't my alone time, Matt will sometimes drive her home so my car ride is my alone time, he gets me lol. I know some people don't need alone time, or maybe they don't realize they need it because they get it automatically, but I do. I feel like I am needed by someone for something all day every day... the puppy needs me, my students need me, I get home and Charlie needs me, my friends need me, Matt needs me. I am not complaining about being needed, more just explaining for those that don't understand that for 10 minutes of every day it is nice for me to be alone and not be "needed." See my article for "missing the mom gene" for more on this. ;) That being said, I am definitely looking forward to my summer vacation starting this week where there is nowhere to be at 6:30am. No rushing out the door. The stress of my mornings, and guilt when I come home will be gone. This adjustment to being a stay-at-home mom has different, more mental, challenges, but I have made it my goal to enjoy it more this year. I am in a much happier place in life and that will for sure help. I know I need to appreciate this time, because although Matt and I are planning on expanding our family, she is my first born and I will miss her cuddles when she no longer wants to cuddle me, and miss her wanting to play with me when she no longer wants to be seen with me. 

OK! Meal Prep this week... it is the last week I have to do all my cooking on a Sunday because it is the last week of school... yay!!!!

- Chicken, pepper, pineapple kabobs on the grill
- Grilled Chicken
- Roasted Broccoli
- Stuffed Peppers (recipe below)
- Rice
- Taco Meat (we literally make this every week- Charlie's favorite)

Adobo Chicken Stuffed Peppers

For these I was using up leftovers... the pineapple and juice were both from the same can... added pantry staples to leftovers and viola! Dinner!

- 2 Cups Cooked Chicken, diced small
- 2 Cups Cooked Rice
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, finely chopped
- 3 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce, finely chopped, with some sauce if you want more heat
- 3/4-1 Cup Pineapple Juice
- 1-2 Cups Pineapple Chunks
- 1.5 Cups Chicken Stock
- 5 Bell Peppers, tops cut off and seeded

1. In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil, the onions, chipotle peppers, and garlic. Saute until they are soft stirring often- no more than 5 minutes. 
2. Add the stock and pineapple juice. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until it is thick, reduced by 1/2 or more, stirring occasionally. This took about 10 minutes for me. While it was reducing I prepped my peppers. 

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees

3. When the sauce is thick, stir in the chicken, rice and pineapple. In a glass baking dish, Stand the peppers upright and stuff them with the filling. Bake 25-30 minutes until the tops are slightly golden and the peppers have some char. 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 418
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g5 %
Saturated Fat 1 g5 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 117 mg39 %
Sodium 224 mg9 %
Potassium 313 mg9 %
Total Carbohydrate 40 g13 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g10 %
Sugars 13 g
Protein 19 g39 %
Vitamin A46 %
Vitamin C175 %
Calcium3 %
Iron14 %
* 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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Portabella and Broccoli Egg Cups- PLUS! Big Red Bowl Meal Prep

With regionals over I thought I was taking a step back and not competing as much, if at all.... then it hit me. If we are wanting to expand our family this is my last "season" for who knows how long. Obviously I will want to make a come back, but with the thought of watching from the sidelines becoming more real I am starting to mentally struggle to accept it. Therefore, when invited to join a team last minute this past weekend I had to say yes! We knew we wouldn't win, but it was a fun day- I even pr'd my full clean during the clean complex (1 full clean + two 2 front squats) so I can't be mad about that. In hindsight I shouldn't have worked out so hard Friday and that would've helped my first two events, but when you finally feel good doing bar muscle ups you have to keep going, right?

This week for meal prep we kept it simple and it was done almost entirely off Costco supplies- including the veggies. Matt is busy landscaping the front of the house, I started power washing the fence around the pool so we could stain it, and then with the competition on Sunday I was low on time.

I call this my BIG RED BOWL meal prep because all three recipes used my large bowl and I just rinsed it between them and kept going. All the meat I chop into bite-sized pieces so I can prep easy or make meals/salads during the week without getting a cutting board out.

What I made:

- Stir-fry veggies
- 3 lbs Flank Steak
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 1 Package Chicken Sausage
- 12 Egg Cups
- 30 Kofta-Meatballs
- 4 Cups (uncooked) Rice
- Lots of Roasted Broccoli

Meal ideas

- Chicken/Steak + veggie + peanut butter + soy sauce
- Sausage + Rice + Broccoli
- Mealballs + Rice + Hummus + Broccoli
- Egg Cups + Avocado

Here's how I did it:

Stir Fry Veggies-

As I am chopping I put them in my big bowl so I can dump them into the pan when ready and keep my cutting board clear.

 - 2 Bunch of Asaparagus, cut in 1 inch chunks
- 2 Bell Peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 Small, Sweet Onion, thinly sliced
- 1 8-oz Package Sliced Mushrooms
- 1 Large Bag Green Beans, trimmed in 1 inch pieces

In a large Wok or frying pan, heat a little bit of oil over medium high heat. Add the veggies and stir frequently until cooked- less than 10 minutes. Near the end I add a bit of soy sauce and black pepper.

Flank Steak Marinade

(I marinate mine over night in a plastic bag set inside my big bowl in case it leaks)

- 3 lbs Flank Steak
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce (coconut Aminos)
- 1/3 Cup White Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 2-3 tsp Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
- Sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes

After marinating over night, I grilled the steak outside on my grill until it was medium-well... then let it rest before slicing.


Grilled with the steak, seasoned with lemon pepper and garlic salt.

Chicken Sausage-


Kofta Meatballs

- I only had beef so I used no pork... here is the original recipe: 
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef
- 1 lb Ground Pork (or another lean meat like lamb, or even more beef)
- 6 Garlic Cloves, grated using a microplane
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, grated
- 1/4 Cup+ Fresh Parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Ground Coriander
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
- 2 tsp Salt
- 3 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Allspice
- 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (less if you don't like spicy)
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 Egg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1. Combined all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands until just combined.

2. Roll into 1.5-2" sized balls and place on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your balls.

Portabella and Broccoli Egg Cups

(Makes 12)
- 3 cups Sliced Portabella Mushrooms
- 3 Cups Chopped Broccoli 
(neither of these need to be exact- just roughly chopped)
- 8 Eggs
- Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1. Over medium to medium-high heat, saute the mushrooms and broccoli until the broccoli is bright green and the mushrooms are tender. About 5 minutes. Set them aside to cool.

2. Crack the eggs into a big bowl and whisk. Add the veggies and salt and pepper.

3. Using a non-stick muffin pan, or one sprayed with olive oil, pour about 1/4 cup of the egg mixture. 

Bake 18-20 minutes until they puff up and are firm in the center. 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 146
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9 g14 %
Saturated Fat 2 g12 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 248 mg83 %
Sodium 107 mg4 %
Potassium 415 mg12 %
Total Carbohydrate 5 g2 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g6 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 12 g24 %
Vitamin A28 %
Vitamin C55 %
Calcium6 %
Iron10 %
* 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.