Going Green…Smoothie, that is.

One of my first Green Smoothies Months ago!

About 3 weeks ago, I was introduced to Casey Sollack of She Shines Wellness Revolution.  She was speaking on self-care as a business owner, and my own interests in health and wellness definitely struck a chord with a lot of what she was saying.  I’m a huge proponent of fitness and eating right, but I also believe that some other components get the shaft often–sleep, balance (aka: saying “no”) and the holistic elements of wellness (mind, body and soul, not just body).

Casey has a lot of training and experience so it was great to hear what she had to share.  Some of her core beliefs when it comes to wellness is the importance of Water, Sleep, Alkalizing your body by Limiting Meats and increasing your green leafy vegetables and doing so by Green Smoothies.  Now we are still Paleo, so we’re definitely still eating meat, but we were by no means getting the amount of green leafy veggies needed, so my ears perked up about these smoothies.

Casey just finished up a 10 Day Eat Clean Challenge where she sent out daily emails of info and encouragement (and Green smoothie recipes) as well as created a Facebook community of over 250 people taking her up on the challenge.  While I’ll honestly admit that I didn’t follow every one of her challenge guidelines to the T, she was okay with that.  She communicated over and over that this was YOUR challenge to get out of what YOU wanted.  Now, following it to the T was recommended, but I never once felt restricted or harped upon if anyone “fell” off the plan.

My favorite thing was finding my own love affair with Green Smoothies.  I’ve made some in the past and did truly love them, but I felt encouraged to break out of my simple little box and get creative.  You can really use any type of greens you have on hand–I’ve been using what we’ve gotten in our CSA paired with Spinach, so we’ve had a rotating blender bowl of kale, swiss chard and spinach on any given day.  (Casey would say rotating your greens is super important!) The Beau is on board which is great and we both feel awesome about getting in so many green vegetables before noon each day!  Green smoothies have replaced our typical morning breakfast of Bacon and Eggs.  We’ll treat ourselves to an omelet on the weekend and that makes those even more special.  For all you [Green] skeptics out there, yes–it does look a little weird and sometimes (when you add blackberries for instance) it’s even a dark plum/brown color.  But the goodness inside outweighs any weird stares I’ve gotten when walking into work with my Green Smoothie each day.

My favorite recipe so far has been the Apple Pie Smoothie.  Smoothies are great for traveling (as I mentioned we’ve been doing a lot of lately) and so this was one of those mornings I thought I’d get creative.  Someone mentioned in the Facebook group they were missing Apple Pie on the challenge and if anyone had a smoothie recipe for that–I didn’t at the time, but made one up and boy was it delicious!

Apple Pie Smoothie on the Road!

Apple Pie Smoothie

What You Need:

  • 1 c. Coconut Milk (carton)
  • Small Handful of Spinach
  • Small Handful of Swiss Chard
  • Pinch of Parsley
  • 2 apples (cored)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 c. mixed frozen fruit
  • 1 tbsp. Almond Butter
  • Dash of Vanilla
  • Dash of Cinnamon

What To Do:

  • Pour your coconut milk into the blender and then put your greens in.  After securely putting the lid on, begin to blend
  • While that is doing it’s thang, get your other ingredients out and prepped–core the apples, get the almond butter out, frozen fruit, etc.  Let the blender work it’s magic for a while.  I just have a regular blender, so I’ll stop it, take the lid off, and then put in the frozen banana and blend again.  (I don’t put everything in at once since I don’t have a vitamix as you’ll see Casey does.)  Then put in the frozen fruit and blend.
  • While that is blending, cut up the apples and then put those in the top (I Just pop off the removable part of the lid and keep it blending).
  • Lastly, turning the machine off, I put in the almond butter, vanilla and cinnamon and then securing the lid, blend one last time.  I keep mine blending for a bit so that it’s a little frothy.

I’ve tried LOTS Of variations on smoothies, putting in some pretty random veggies from time to time.  Abundance of green peppers?  Throw them in the smoothie!  Carrots looking a little overdue?  Throw them in as well!  The beau said today’s was one of the best he’s had.  It had cantelope and carrots in it!

My key would be keep things moving so it isn’t chunky.

Best,

PS-Here’s a little video of Casey making her Signature She Shines Wellness Revolution Smoothie!

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Mishmash Monday

Happy President’s Day! I hope you are all enjoying a lovely day whether you are enjoying the day off (hello, teachers, bankers and Post Office workers), or staring at your computer screen and interacting with your co-workers.

Speaking of Presidents, the beau and I have really been enjoying the HBO John Adams Miniseries thanks to the Georgetown Library.  It’s a really neat look at history through these 7 episodes.  And Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney really knock it out of the park.  We have thoroughly enjoyed adding this to our weekend watching collection.

Speaking of Holidays, we enjoyed a loverly Valentine’s last Tuesday.  I know many folks detest this talking of this holiday.  I love love myself, but do agree that we need to celebrate love 365 days a year (or 366 in this year of leap 2012).  So, we celebrate the holiday, but on a very small scale and do little things to make it memorable.  We always incorporate heart shaped pancakes into our breakfast, which is quite the feat as pancakes rarely make it on our menu at all, much less on a weekday.

We celebrate with a $5 gift budget which means we have to get really creative with those gifts.  I was super excited after being inspired by this pin (and fortunate to have librarians as friends) to give this to Lewie as his card.  His gift was this little “spark” of love as well as the ingredients for chocolate covered bacon.  He was very pleased.

We're a Good Match!

Lewie has been a good listener lately as he gifted me with a garlic press.  The week prior, I was mincing garlic for every. single. recipe. on our menu that week and kept muttering under my breath “man, it sure would be nice to have a garlic press.”  Okay.  So it wasn’t so under my breath.  I was very surprised to get this little treasure.  So romantic.  Okay–garlicky foods–now that’s romantic.  Hehe…  I also got some favorite little chocolates and another tube of Burt’s Bees.  Okay.  I’m totally addicted.

After our lovely little dinner at home (more here), we walked downtown to get some drinks and dessert at our favorite little spot.  We love being in a town that we can just walk a few blocks and have great food, drinks and conversation with the restaurant owner and hear of how his bride’s valentine to him included famous words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  We enjoyed some new Spanish wine and shared the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake and the Chocolate Pie at the recommendation of our new friend, Frank Clay.  They were both delicious, but quite the venture from our typical Paleo treats we enjoy.

Finally, speaking of treats, I entered my Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Muffins in a muffin contest sponsored by the Georgetown Main Street Program last Thursday at my favorite little downtown coffee shop.  I was shocked and excited when they called to tell me that I had won!  Now my muffins will be featured on the menu the third Thursday of each Month!  I’m already counting down to March 15th!

My winning muffins with the judges!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quite Presidential, romantic, treat-filled post!  Here to more Mishmash Mondays–make it a great one!

Best,

2012 Goals

When I sit down to put pen to paper on my goals for 2012, I get super excited because I know this is one of the ways God has wired me to be and I get great enjoyment fully living into one of the ways he created me.  I also get nostalgic as I think back over the past year–the good, bad and in-between.  There are definitely years that goals have not been met, years where they have and…you guessed–all in between.

This year, I’ve done things a little different–as you can see, we’re almost through January and I’m just now getting around to posting about my goals.  I’ve wanted to take things down a notch and work my goals into a more “do-able” plan–thus the word and theme post from last week.  But after seeing my friend Amanda’s goals and then just having that “feeling”–the new year, you just KNOW it’s that season to sit down and craft some goals.  Just like seeing the high school student walk into the gym in the dead of winter knowing his destiny is hours of basketball practice; my destiny this time of year is reflection.

Very similar to my friend Amanda, I’ve jotted down some categories in which I want to grow–these are very loose and will evolve to look differently as the year progresses.  Stay tuned for a post later this week where I share about my journey with the iChoose2 challenge and my last post on goals and the like (I know…some of you are ready to move on!)

Without further adieu…

Physical-This very much goes back to my thoughts last week about my word for 2012: Strong!  I want to be healthy for health’s sake.  Knowing the health issues that run in both our families, the Beau and I declare that 2012 is the year that we stop making excuses and just do it.  As I’ve been reminded so often, life is short and we are not getting any younger.  Now yes, this time of year, many folks are making health and diet goals.  Spring break, summer dress season, that vacation cruise with the family this summer.  My goals: to be able to live a long life; bend over and tie my own shoe laces when I’m 70 and be that active parent and grandparent that has crazy energy.  I know that through a Paleo diet (ugh…I shutter at that 4-letter word) that I feel the best I have ever felt in my life.  Running has given me strength and confidence that I didn’t know lived deep down within.  Cardio Sculpt will allow me to build some strength while also connecting with some friends I work with about non-work things.  Yoga keeps my mind, body and spirit all connected, and it keeps me stretched out! And finally sleep will sustain me and allow me the ability to do all the other things.  The thing that I love (and hate) is that over the past 3 weeks, I have realized that diet (again, eek!) really is the key to everything successful for me personally.  Now, absolutely, if I don’t get my quiet time in the morning, the Beau will tell you I’m quite the cranky pants.  But what gives me the mojo to get up at 5am for that quiet time?  Sleep.  What gives me the crazy energy to run and do cardio sculpt and yoga before or after a full day of a very busy day job?  Eating right, the paleo way.  And what keeps me eating paleo?  Knowing that I’ve never felt better and the key to me getting up for my quiet time is eating clean.

Spiritual-As mentioned before, if I do not have my morning quiet time, I am one cranky gal. I have really found a great rhythm and study this year and am looking forward to continue my personal study time.  Not only is that daily time important, a weekly rhythm of Sabbath really solidifies the importance of unplugging, resting and listening to God.  Additionally, I am joining an intentional discipleship community through my church and with a friend have been having wonderful intentional accountability time.  This has been something my faith walk has been missing and I’m so glad that it came at the perfect time.  It’s amazing what God centered friendships can do for you.  I’m also finding encouragement through the iBloom online community and the iChoose2 journey.  I’m continuing to serve at our church and find ways to connect in the community through service.

Creativity-This is one that has long been on my radar, but only as of late coming up to the surface.  When you buy a house that was built in the late 1800’s it’s easy to get caught up in the ” eventually” list.  That list however, doesn’t start coming into play until a lot of other things come around–electric, heat, new water pipes, painting walls, hanging drywall, mudding, sanding, well, you get the picture. We are finally stepping into that zone in some areas that my “eventually” list is starting to become peeked at–it’s not just all nuts and bolts!  And with Pinterest coming into play just at the right time, I’ve had some great ideas for loads of DIY–home projects, decor crafts!   I had a craft day back in December and am super excited about attending and hosting more in 2012!

Home-So, creativity and home sometimes can mean the same thing in my mind, but I have something very different in mind here.  This includes not only the physical aspects of our home (yes–we have big plans for 2012 on the renovation front), but our home as in the home Lewie and I are building. We have a big goal of getting all the trim painted in our home as well as drywall completed upstairs.  I’m so excited to start really utilizing Grand Central Station as our home command center–the one stop shop for all things Cracraft.  I want to be more intentional about our budget and calendar planning–both event and meal wise and am so thankful that The Beau is willing to sit in on parts of my Weekly Detailing Session during my Sabbath to make sure that we are on the same page and we have meals for the week.  I’m excited about our house becoming not just a home, but our haven in 2012.

Personal-This is the one section that should be easy to write, but for some reason, I keep coming back to empty handed. I want to write more, be intentional, disconnect from social media, have more moderation in my life, and truly seek God out and the call of ministry he has placed on my life.  I constantly question–“is what I’m doing right now my ministry?” and I’d love to be able to say with confidence–“yes” or “no”.  I want to figure out if continuing my Scentsy business is some where I want to be investing a lot of my time.  I guess the lack of coming up with a true “goal” in this area is that I just sense I want to pull things together from all the other areas, work on my physical self, my heart, our home and my creative outlets.  One things I do want to make sure I’m investing in is this blog.  I have long sensed a stirring about where this blog might go, and what direction it may take.  I feel I’ve finally stumbled upon that and I’m excited to have that journey.  I want to invest in relationships in real time, have fun, work really hard and sleep really hard knowing how hard I’ve worked that day.  I want my life to continue to start creating patterns for the next season that it may hold, even if I’m not sure what that season may be.  I want to be a better woman, a stronger role model, a more caring and passionate wife, a higher education professional that also sees her day job as her ministry. And in all this, I want to be real.  Imperfect.  Transparent.  Passionate. 

I want it all I guess.  Perhaps it’s laughable, but I want all that God has for me and that’s what I want my personal goals to go after in 2012.

Each Friday I’ll be posting a little weekly roundup with an update on these goals (you may have caught some of that last week).

Best,

Foodie Friday!

It’s been quite a while, I know, but I’m stoked to share with you some meals that have been gracing our table lately. I have definitely been in a cooking “funk” after several super-busy weeks at work.  I have just not been as disciplined as I need to be in regards to meal-planning, grocery shopping and just being active enough in my am workouts to avoid they laziness that ensues around 6pm some night when I’d get home from work.  Thankfully, our table saw a change in that starting last week!  I made a couple pretty tasty Paleo “desserts” last week and a Pumpkin Spice Latte–I’m SURE they’ll be making a reappearance soon. Here are my meals from this week:

Monday, September 19th-Broccoli Salad, Grilled Chicken and Sauted Apples

Broccoli Salad, Chicken & Apples

Source: Broccoli Salad-Me & My Paleo, Chicken & Apples-Me

Me Rating: 7

This was really good for a throw together meal.  I didn’t have my own mayo as the salad recipe suggested–I’m hoping we’ll get a blender soon and can make our own.  It was really good for my first attempt at broccoli salad.  I also used Sunflower Seeds.  The chicken and apples were okay–I sauteed them in the bacon grease from the salad’s bacon and some cinnamon.  Yumm…

Tuesday, September 20th -Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sausage & Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Source:Simply In Season Cookbook

Beau Rating: 10!

This was sooooooo good!  After picking up our CSA on Monday and seeing an Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash and a HUGE sweet potato, I went straight for the SIS cookbook and flipped right to this recipe!  It was meant to be!  I did some alterations to make it paleo (Nixed the breadcrumbs), but honestly, I’m not sure they would ever be necessary anyway!  The sausage and apple had such good flavor.  Also, I added dried cranberries instead of raisins and pecans.  Also a little cinnamon (it’s the first of fall–why not?)  Definitely one to make again!

Thursday, September 22nd -Rosemary Garlic Steaks with Stuffed Banana Peppers

Rosemary & Garlic Marinated Steaks with Stuffed Banana Peppers

Source: Steak Marinade-Real Simple Magazine; Peppers-Me

Beau Rating: 9

I never thought he’d say this, but the Beau said the steaks had a little too much rosemary!  He’s a major fan, so I put extra on, not realizing it was a bit too much.  The peppers were delish!  We are enjoying our last few days of eating dairy before we do another strict Whole30 in October.  I put cream cheese, bacon, jalapenos, tomato and a bit of bleu cheese in the mixture.  Mmmm…

Ack!  I almost forgot about this meal–it was really good and super easy!

Wednesday, September 21st–Bacon & Eggs To Go

Bacon & Eggs To Go

Source: Health Bent

Rating: 9

The Beau’s been dying to try this so I grabbed some Canadian bacon at the store–major hit and a great addition to our “quick re-heatable breakfasts” rotation!  (Also notice some bleu cheese peaking through…)

What have YOU been eating this week?

Best,

~Faith Nicole

PS–Just realized there is some sort of bacon in 3 of 4 meals this week.  The beau will be proud.  🙂

Foodie Friday

The past couple weeks have been great, but a little busy, but overall really great.  Although I have been cooking quite a bit, just haven’t found my way onto the blog to update on my culinary creations.  Since we’re looking at 2 weeks of food here, I’m going to fly through many of the descriptors, but here’s a look at how we eat in the Cracraft household.

Sunday, June 5th-Steak and Asparagus

  • Source: Me!
  • Beau Rating: 9

Steak and Asparagus

This has become one of our favorite spring standby’s–a nicely marinated steak with grilled asparagus.  Whether on the grill outside or inside on the stove top, it’s a wonderful quick and tasty little treat.  It’s a classic that can’t really go wrong.

Monday, June 6th–Chicken Curry & Spinach Salad

  • Source: Everyday Paleo and Me!
  • Beau Rating: 8.5 (curry a little overdone–Crockpots fault)

Chicken Curry & Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad (pre-potluck)

The curry got a little overdone on this one–I may need to stick to Sunday Crockpot meals since they just spend too much time cooking while I’m at work.  It’s a VERY tasty treat however that I’ve tried a couple times and has great flavor (and added veggies).

The salad was a bit of a treat with lovely feta cheese and grapes, but it’s so tasty.  We had a couple pot lucks to go to and ended up with leftovers which we weren’t complaining about.  🙂

Thursday, June 9th–Burgers, Sweet Potato Rounds & Salad

Burgers, Sweet Potato Rounds and Salad

This was a very simple meal, but one that was very yummy.  I was looking for a new recipe for my Sweet Potatoes and found a great one from my friend Vivian.  TASTY!

Saturday, June 11th–Pecan Crusted Chicken

Pecan Crusted Chicken

This was so lovely and easy.  Some pecans, honey and mustard made up the most lovely “crust” for this chicken.  The chicken got a little too cooked, but overall, it was tasty!

Sunday, June 12th

Lunch: Bison Burgers, Sun dried Tomato Chicken Sausage & Salad

  • Source: US!
  • Beau Rating: 9.5

Bison Burgers, Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage & Salad

You might be asking why such a high rating for such a simple meal, but my oh my–you taste that bison and you’ll see why!  They were so good especially paired with the smokyness from our new smoker grill! The  sausages from Trader Joe’s were also really tasty!

Dinner: Apple Shallot Pork Chop

  • Source: Everyday Paleo
  • Beau Rating: 9 (got up’d points for what it can be)

Apple Shallot Pork Chop & Asparagus

This is the second go round for this recipe and honestly, the first time was way better.  Definitely would have been a 10.  The pork chops were a little dry this round, but they had sat in the fridge for a day or so before cooking, so that could have done it.  This is a VERY tasty and simple recipe that seems like it took hours–definitely one in our books for the long haul (or company)!

Monday, June 13th–Shrimp Tacos and Homemade Salsa Verde

Shrimp Tacos

Yummy–could have had a little more paired with it to make it more filling.  The lettuce used for the wraps also were not so user friendly.  The recipe used a salsa verde and I had 6 lovely little green tomato from our CSA and a recipe from SIS begging to be used.  The salsa was outta the park!  I was so proud and was able to use it later in the week for the Fiesta Pork.

Homemade Green Tomato Salsa Verde!

Tuesday, June 14th–Better Butter Chicken, Cauli Rice, Swiss Chard and Roasted Potatoes

Better Butter Chicken, Cauli Rice, Swiss Chard & Roasted Potatoes

This was my “challenge” recipe for the week–I surprisingly had everything for this Indian fare in my cabinet.  I could have used more chicken (there was a LOT of leftover sauce) and my onions got burnt initially giving everything a more “blackened” taste than I think the recipe called for.  I’ll definitely be trying it again to see how things go.

The potatoes were in our CSA as well and once again, I found a great recipe in SIS for roasted potatoes making up my own seasonings using shallots, garlic, bay leaf, and some other tasty spices–they were very restaurant quality and also were used for another recipe later in the week.

The chard was WAY salty, but tasty when mixed in with the chicken.  The cauli rice–AMAZING!  Thank you new food processor!

Wednesday, June 15th-Frittata and Black Raspberries

  • Source: Everyday Paleo Cookbook
  • Mylo & Beau Rating: 9.5

Fritatta with Black Raspberries

This.  Was.  Amazing.  We used some yellow squash, red pepper, leftover roasted potatoes, some ham and mushrooms from our CSA (on my side anyway!)  We could have had a little more spices and cooked a little longer (a bit of runny egg here and there).  Will definitely become a repeat offender!

Loved the black raspberries from our CSA–such a treat!

Thursday, June 16th-Fiesta Pork

  • Source: Me!
  • Beau Rating: 9

Fiesta Pork

This was a really great throw together recipe and a great way to get a meat we haven’t eaten as much of lately in our diet.  Pork loin, leftover veggies and the remaining green tomato salsa verde–so tasty!!  We added onion, carrots, cabbage, radishes, peppers, but you could add whatever was in your fridge really. It was also nice that we had lots of leftovers for other meals!

Here’s to TWO weeks of meals!  More coming this Friday.  Enjoy!

Best,

Foodie Friday!

Being out of town this past weekend didn’t give us as much of an opportunity to cook and be creative, but we did manage to do a bit of it.  🙂

Tuesday Dinner: Jalapeno Chicken Sausages and Brussell Sprouts & Bacon (BSB for short!)

  • Source: Trader Joe’s and Everyday Paleo
  • Beau Rating: Sausages: 8.5; BSB: 9!

Chicken Sausages

These were a great treat, but unfortunately we were HUNGRY and didn’t quite time our dinner out.  The beau was in charge of the sausages and I the BSB, so we ate the sausages first then the BSB.

The sausages definitely had a nice kick and were very tender–definitely will be stocking up at TJ’s.  The BSB was good–how can you go wrong with bacon!  YUM! (Note–we used thyme as that’s what her cookbook calls for instead of Dill)

Pre-Baking in the oven...look at that bacon!

Thursday Dinner: Marvelous Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash

  • Source: Everyday Paleo
  • Beau Rating: 9!

Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs

I love this recipe, but every time I’ve made it in the crock pot, they’ve gotten a little overdone.  😦  We typically do crock pot meals on Thursdays because by then, if not, we will almost ALWAYS find ourselves going out to eat.  It’s a day that we come home a little exhausted, happy to see one another and not motivated at all because Friday’s almost here!

I have made these in the oven and they are great that way as well (probably my preferred method to be honest), but I think if I do them again in the crock pot, it’ll need to be a Sunday where they can stay in there for about 6 hours versus 9 (oops!)  The one change I make is just using 1 lb of ground beef and 1 lb. of sausage.  It still makes plenty for leftovers for our family of 2 and we like the kick of the sausage.  The beau also commented that he liked my added cayenne (more than what was called for) thus upping his rating!  🙂

Lots of exciting meals coming up next week!  Stay tuned!

Best,

Foodie Friday

Yes, I realize it’s not Friday, but I had an extra long weekend.  🙂

***********************************************************

I have been wanting to do this for sometime after lots of inspiration from my dear friend Melissa. She had this great idea of blogging her meals for the week with photos each Friday along with her “hubby rating”.  It’s been really fun for me the past week or so to cook and plan out our Foodie Friday especially since receiving some new cookbooks for my birthday. You’ll note our ratings (Lewie as the Beau and myself as Mylo) and recommendations for future “repeat offenders” as well. 🙂

Most of my super creative cooking happens on the weekends, so my Friday posts will include the previous weekend as well.  This starts actually on Saturday May 21st through Friday the 27th.

Saturday Lunch: Fish Enchiladas (no pic, sorry!)

  • Source: Everyday Paleo Cookbook
  • Beau Rating: 7

Got this out of the new Everyday Paleo cookbook, which many of these recipes found their start.  It was a good recipe and I was SUPER proud of making my own enchilada sauce with my new food processor (thanks birthday cash!).

I used tilapia and shrimp and between Lew, myself and Lew’s dad, we cleaned the dish along with some asparagus we’ve been getting in our CSA.  I grilled it on the stove top with some olive oil and sesame seeds–my favorite way so far of preparing it.

Saturday Dinner: Paleo Pad Thai

Paleo Pad Thai

This was knocked out of the park!  It was sooooo good! Lew actually sent this to me from The Clothes Make the Girl and we didn’t really alter it much.  I couldn’t find coconut aminos, so I used soy sauce for the sunshine sauce.  It was delicious! I could have added a bit more red pepper flakes during cooking to kick it up, but it was still out of the park–tastes the closest to REAL pad thai without using the noodles!

Sunday Crockpot Day: Harvest Stew (no pic, sorry!)

  • Source: Me!
  • Mylo Rating: 8

This is a great staple that I made up last fall.  The beau made this one as I was gone most of the morning singing at church.  It was very tasty as always, but the meat lacked a bit of seasoning.  🙂

It’s your basic stew, but with a twist–stew meat, carrots, red onion, sweet potato, and an apple!  Very much a fall treat, but not bad in spring either.

Monday Dinner: Pesto Pasta and Chicken

  • Source: Me (with assistance from EP!)
  • Beau Rating: 9

Petso Pasta and Chicken

This was a really great Faith Original!  🙂  I seared the chicken breast in coconut oil and then put it in the oven for about 25 minutes.  Once it was fully cooked, I plated the chicken then took the leftover spaghetti squash that we had from the Pad Thai and threw it in the hot skillet with a little olive oil.  The kicker was adding the Walnut Basil Pesto I had made the week prior with basil from the farmer’s market (another Everyday Paleo recipe!)  This was a GREAT way to use leftovers and the pesto.  Will definitely be making this one again!

Breakfast Tuesday-Friday: Egg Strata

Egg Strata

Yes, that’s right–this was one of Lew’s creations!  After stepping it up a bit myself and reading the Whole 9’s post on our dearly beloved bacon, the beau decided to get creative one morning.

I really liked the recipe–we actually had the exact type of tomatoes recommended (brand and everything–Diced tomatoes with Fire Roasted Tomatoes and Chipotle peppers).  Although I really liked the dish, the extra heat from the red pepper flakes in addition to the tomatoes was a bit much for me.  We probably could have used 1/2 a can of tomatoes and thew in some different veggies as well.  There will definitely be a next time on this one!  Was great to have breakfast all week already made!

Friday Dinner: Salmon Cakes with Ginger Mayo

  • Source: Everyday Paleo Cookbook
  • Beau Rating: Cakes: 9, with Ginger Mayo: 7

Salmon Cakes

This was one of the recipes in the EP cookbook I had been eyeing–Sarah says it was the recipe that really made her feel like she could get out of the “rut” of eating the same things over and over.  I can see why.  These were beautiful before frying, even better in the pan, and absolutely delicious.  The beau says they are probably the best tasting salmon cakes he’s ever had.  And there are NO CRACKERS or bread in it at all!  Crazy!  The addition of the dill and lemon juice I really think sets it off.

The Ginger Mayo was not quite as much of a hit.  It’s definitely in the Olive Oil we’re using–still the cheap stuff in bulk we bought probably a year ago.  Must definitely make the sacrifice to get some of the good stuff for things like this and the avocado dip I made last week that just tastes like strong EVOO.  Now I know though!

I hope you’ve enjoyed and will be encouraged to spice up your kitchen!

Best,

I’m back! {Foodie Friday…sort of}

Yes, it’s been quite a while, but I’m back and am excited to get back into keeping everyone up to date on what’s going on in our lives.  The past two months have been pretty crazy (more on that later), but the Beau and I are hitting the reset button (literally) and are hoping for some deepening of our relationship, our health, and our home.

For a little sneak peek at what the next 30 days holds for our life, check this out:

Best,

Foodie Friday: Stuffed Banana Peppers

And the winner is……STUFFED BANANA PEPPERS!

I know you all are oh, so surprised since it’s right there in the title.

Anyhoo–got this recipe a week or so ago along with our CSA and I am SO GLAD that they included a recipe this particular week because it turned out so well (and was one of those recipes I couldn’t wait to get home and make!)  These were delicious and not to mention, the called for recipe made PLENTY of stuffing that I was able to re-use it this weekend. After never having (successfully) made stuffed peppers, the thought of stuffed banana peppers was a little intimidating, but they were not that tough at all!

Ingredients:

6-8 Large Banana Peppers (I used 6)

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used the colby jack we always have on hand)

1 small tomato, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 small green bell pepper, diced

1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, diced (I used 2 and it wasn’t too spicy)

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

12-16 bacon slices (I used 12 turkey bacon slices)

Directions:

Cut a slit length wise in each banana pepper, cutting to, but not through, the other side.  Remove seeds (I found it easiest to just cut the top off of that little sucker).

Combine cheese and next 6 ingredients.

Spoon mixture evenly into each pepper

then wrap each with two bacon slices securing with wooden picks.

Place peppers on a rack in a broiler pan and broil 5 1/2 inches or so from heat 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden.

It could have been the turkey bacon or that my top rack wasn’t exactly 5 1/2 inches from the broiler, but my peppers had to go in there for a bit longer–more like 7-8 minutes per side.

I served this with corn on the cob and it was absolutely delish!

SOOOO….my leftover cheesy, oniony, peppery mix?  Twice baked potatoes with our steak on Saturday night. I had just the right amount:

I slipped on the photo-taking opportunity, but as your every day twice baked potato recipe would call for, I cooked the potatoes plain in the oven on 350 degrees for about an hour, hour and 15 minutes or so, cut in half, scooped out the middle and them mixed it with our leftover mix (along with some butter and sour cream as a binder).  I also added some Lawry’s Season Salt just for kicks.

That stuff makes anything good oh so great!

Then just popped those bad boys back in the over for another 20 minutes or so and viola!  a wonderful accompaniment to our yum-o steaks from the farm.  They turned out great and were a superb alternative to your standard cheesy, sour creamy, bacony, chivey, twice baked potato!

Enjoy friends!

Best,

Foodie Friday: Summer Salsa Dip

This is one of those recipes that for me, ushers in summer.  I made it this past weekend and it was perfect for the 4th.  It’s super easy and I’m thankful for friends in grad school who introduced the recipe to me.  I’ve always doubled the recipe because it just doesn’t stay long around my house, but it also makes it great to take to a summer cookout or potluck.

The other great thing is that you can add whatever your most favorite veggies are and alter the specific amounts to your liking.

I’m warning you though, if you come to my house for some or eat some I’ve brought over to your house, you best like love cilantro.

Another thing is that just like last week’s summer stir fry, you can easily find these veggies fresh if you’d prefer rather than using canned.

Warning: This is addictive.

Summer Salsa Dip (this is the doubled recipe)

-2 Cans Petite Diced Tomatos

-2 Cans Black Beans

-2 Cans Corn

-1/2 Red Onion

-Fresh cilantro

-Additional veggies of your choosing: cucumbers, celery , green/red pepper (I just use cucs)

Dressing:

-1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

-1/2 c. olive oil

-1 tsp mustard

-2 tbsp. brown sugar (Add more to your liking.  A lot more if you really like.  I promise I won’t tell.)

This is great with chips but also is a great sweet topper for burgers as we found out this past week with our yummy cheddar jalapeno burgers. 

Enjoy!

Best,