Monthly Archives: April 2013

{Love It} Lately

This week I am loving…

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My sweet pea soaking up the sun. I’ve taught her well!

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Slowly reintroducing dairy, but mostly continuing to eat clean. (Full Whole30 wrap up post coming soon!)

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Brother and sister having fun together….

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….which gave me some time to sit in the sun and read this book. Challenging, inspiring, takes my breath away.

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Sweet sleeping boy.

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New necklace, from here. The shop owner told me the dots mean “I Love You” in braille. Hope it’s true?!

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Precious new niece, Hadley Lynne, born today! Cannot wait to meet and hold this little sweetie.

Have a great weekend!
xo

{Whole30} Day 29

{Recipe} Baked Chicken Thighs in Marinara with Cabbage Noodles
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I’m just going to talk about my dinner today, because I am pretty darn excited about it. It was one of those, “crap! what do i make for dinner?!” meals, and I threw it all together without much thought. And it actually turned out! It was so simple and tasty, that I thought it was worth sharing. I even took a few (iPhone) pics along the way; I guess I just had a *feeling* that it might turn out!

I threw some boneless skinless chicken thighs in an 8×8 dish (use whatever size dish you need to have it be “full” of chicken. Or use as much chicken as you need to fill your dish?!?)

Moving on!

I had a few fresh herbs, and decided to go with thyme….so I threw a few sprigs of thyme on top, and then some crushed garlic cloves. (I prefer to keep the sprigs whole, rather than taking the “thyme” (!) to pull of each little leaf and chop it up. This way, you still get the flavor imparted into the dish, and just pull the sprigs out when it’s done cooking!)
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Next, I very carefully opened a jar of organic, (no sugar) marinara sauce. And poured it on top. It was hard work, but someone had to do it.
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Then I covered the dish with foil, and baked at 375 while I took a walk with the kids to get eggs from the neighbor’s house….in other words, 30 minutes or so. When I got home I checked it and decided it could go a bit longer. Plus, I wanted to roast some green beans at a high temp in the over (425), so I just went ahead and cranked it up so that I could cook the green beans in there at the same time. I also noticed that it was way more liquid-y than I was expecting, so at this point I removed the foil covering from the dish.

I only had frozen green beans to use as my veggie side, which I think worked well for the way I prepared them. I opened the plastic bag, and filled it with warm water to defrost the green beans. Drain, and repeat once. Now they’re defrosted! I patted away the moisture with some paper towels, since things tend to roast best when they aren’t sopping wet.

Next, throw your green beans on a pan, drizzle with olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. Then place in the oven so they can roast at 425 for around 20 minutes. (Meanwhile, your chicken is still baking away). If you have the chance, pull them out once to flip them around with a spatula.

I also had some cabbage wedges roasting away in my toaster over. Drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper, cooked at 425 for 20 min. Hey, I never said this was a one pot meal!

The chicken turned out nice and saucy and tender.
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And the green beans were roasted just the way I like em.
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To plate it up, I had my wedge of cabbage, with chicken on top, and sauce over it all. And then the green beans on the side.
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After I took this photo and started eating, I did end up adding much more sauce to my plate.

This is what I love about Whole30! I never would have came up with this meal without it. I maybe would have thought of the chicken idea. But I would have served it with rice or potatoes or something. Instead, after I thought of the chicken idea, I was thinking to myself…what would be good underneath saucy chicken to soak it up? Noodles? Then I remembered seeing something weird on instagram under the #whole30 hashtag. Someone was talking about boiling a whole cabbage, and as it cooks, the leaves come off. You pull the leaves out as they start floating to the top, and then shred up all the cooked cabbage leaves. She was saying she then just keeps it in the fridge and uses them as “noodles”, and that they’re really versatile. So, that’s kind of what I was trying to replicate with the roasted wedges of cabbage (I didn’t want to take the time or mess with boiling a whole cabbage). And it worked! The outer edges were crispy, but the inner parts were soft and the perfect texture to eat with saucy chicken.

Enjoy! And let me know what you think!

My Boy

This little guy
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is so amazing. Oh boy, he makes me laugh. And smile. Many times throughout the day I am overcome with feeling so thankful to have him.
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He is my happy little boy. Easy going. Content. Plays independently….
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…and then on the flip side he looooves to snuggle. Loves to be interacted with. Loves to communicate.
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He is so silly. He keeps me laughing all day long! He has THE BEST facial expressions. This “cheesy smile” is a favorite right now:
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He is 15.5 months right now. Finally started walking, yesterday! He is sooo excited and proud of it, too! It is so fun to watch. Nothing cuter than watching a baby learn take their first steps. He’s already cruising and excited about his new mode of transportation.
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He has an infinite amount of nicknames. Some favorites right now: bubs, bubbers, boo boo, brudder bear, bubbies, bubbles….the list grows each day.
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I love you, my sweet boy!

{Whole30} Day 28

Day 28! So close and yet at this very minute, 48 hours feels sooo long away :). And really, it will be more like 60 hours by the time I wake up on the morning of the 31st day and eat breakfast. I’m not gonna lie, these last few days have felt….long. I’m kind of tired of it. I think part of the trouble is that I was already fairly happy with how I was eating, pre-Whole30 (whole-foods, real-food, traditional-food diet). And since I wasn’t going from a SAD (Standard American Diet) diet full of processed foods, chemicals, and “food” from a box, this whole program hasn’t felt like that extreme of a lifestyle change. But maybe the lack of extreme change is what makes it a little harder? As in, I am feeling great and eating great, and it’s not too far off from how I usually eat, so then I start to have thoughts of “oh, what’s the problem with adding a little coconut sugar to my coffee?” Or, “a bowl of yogurt with nut granola is a healthy snack!” And I start to rationalize why I should be eating these things. I think it’s also worth pointing out that while I definitely DO feel better and notice some improvements in my overall well being, I’m not one of those CRAZY awesome over the top testimonials who’s whole life has changed. I was fairly healthy before, and am feeling good now. So I guess maybe I haven’t felt some of the extreme results I’ve read about, and therefore feel like I can start slacking off? However, I have stayed strong! I haven’t cheated! And I am pretty darn proud of myself to have made it all the way :).

As you might have noticed, I’ve kind of gotten tired of blogging about what I’m eating every day. Most of my breakfasts are similar, and I do a lot of leftovers and repeat meals, so I figure it would be a little repetitive to keep it up every day. Here’s a round  up of some of the things I’ve eaten in the last few days:

Breakfast:
I finally got some “clean” (sugar/junk free) meats from US Wellness Meats, and it’s been nice to have some different things to add to my breakfast routine! This breakfast sausage (made into patties) is delicious.
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Lunches/Dinners:
Made another pot of clean out the fridge/veggie/sausage soup
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I’ve been having that along with lots of salads for lunches and dinner.
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Also, I have to pass this recipe along. I came across this Date Coffee Creamer and knew I had to give it a try. OMG. It’s what I’ve been missing and hoping for. I might even go as far as to say that I like it better than regular cream and sweetener! Why couldn’t I have found this on Day 1?! Give it a try, you’ll be sorry if you don’t! (*recipe note: I added a few extra dates and water, figuring that I might want it a bit sweeter. Also, I did strain my date puree, I would definitely recommend doing this).

Two days to go! Wish me luck! 🙂

Away

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Not posting for a few days because I am too busy enjoying this view! And celebrating a 60th birthday. And enjoying family. And staying in a cozy “cabin” on the river. And eating yummy food (Whole30 style, of course). More to come….

{Whole30} Day 23

Only seven days to go! In some ways I am so ready for it to be over. In other ways I don’t really mind and it’s easier than I expected it to be. There is so much to process through in what I’ve learned and what I’ll take away from this. I will for sure be keeping up a lot of these new habits. I love being so intentional about incorporating tons of veggies into each meal. I love being mindful of getting plenty of protein and fat in each meal. I’d say lunches and dinners haven’t been hard to make the switch, and I see many paleo style meals in our future, post-Whole30. I really love the practice of replacing the starch in your meal with more veggies.

Breakfast is the one meal that I sometimes crave something different. A BUTTER, a piece of toast, soaked oatmeal once in awhile, the occasional paleo pancake WITH some real maple syrup, BUTTER…those are things that might sneak their way back in once in awhile :). I also miss my sweeteners. I’ve said before, I don’t use refined sugar, ever. But I do enjoy some healthified paleo-style treats now and again. And coconut sugar in my coffee. And honey in my tea. Ahhhh, yes, I have learned new and important habits. But I also am not afraid of some of the ones I had pre-Whole30. I will strive for a healthy balance going forward!

Breakfast:
I’ve had this two days in a row: an egg scramble with chicken sausage, zucchini, and mushrooms, and those mini sweet peppers (my new obsession!). And then I decided to give this Sweet Beet Smoothie a try. Sounds gross, I know. It’s actually quite delicious! And the kids chugged it down. I was inspired to make it because I had a container of steamed beets in the fridge that needed using up. Then when I came across this recipe for the smoothie, I noticed that it called for cooked beets. Now, I can’t say that I would ever go through the trouble of cooking beets just for this smoothie (they’re really a bit troublesome to cook, what with the peeling and inevitable pink-stained hands). But because I already some cooked and in the fridge, I decided to give it a go. And it was so good yesterday (and I had enough beets left over) that I made it again today! Also, it should be noted that I’m not really a huge smoothie fan. I like the idea of them. But then when it comes time to drink it I usually get about half way through and lose interest. Something about the texture? But this one I had no trouble at all getting down.
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*recipe notes: I omitted the protein powder and the honey. I added about 5 ice cubes just because I like my smoothies really cold and somewhat slushie. And I added a handful of frozen kale just to see if I could get away with it – didn’t taste it at all!

Lunch:
My sweet mother in law took me and the kids out for a day downtown. We tried the Nordstrom Cafe for lunch. I was pleasantly surprised to immediately find something on the menu that needed very few changes to make it Whole30 compliant! I went with the Salad Nicoise with Herb and Garlic Salmon. It was so good! In case you’re not familiar (and since I forgot to take a photo), Salad Nicoise is a traditional French salad with hard boiled egg, green beans, capers, tomatoes, red onion, and potatoes. I believe it is traditionally topped with tuna, but I was happy to have mine with salmon. I of course omitted the potatoes, and used oil and vinegar for my dressing. Very very good and I’m excited to recreate it at home sometime.

Dinner:
This dinner was a total Hail Mary that turned out as a win. We were getting ready to leave the house this morning when I decided at the last minute that I really wanted to try and come up with something to slow cook while we were gone, since I knew we would have a late afternoon and I would be crunched for time to make dinner. I literally ran out to the freezer in the garage and scanned the shelves. I found a hunk of round steak, ran it inside, cut the plastic off, and plopped it in my dutch oven. Then I poured a jar of Trader Joe’s Organic Tomatillo Salsa on top and added a little water. I put the lid on and threw it in the oven (250) and said a little prayer. When we got home five hours later, the house smelled heavenly. I pulled it out and things were looking hopeful! I cut up the meat into smaller chunks so that they could all nestle into the sauce a bit more. I had a head of cauliflower that I really needed to use up, so I decided to try making some “rice”, which I thought could be a good accompaniment for some saucy chunky meat (just take your food processor to your cauliflower until it’s in tiny pieces, and then boil those for 5-10 min and strain. Rice!). Sauteed a sliced zucchini, and we were good to go! At the last minute I decided to throw some diced avocado on top of the meat+rice. Heaven. Seriously, it was so good. Full disclaimer, though: Bret wasn’t really a fan. He wasn’t a hater, but he wasn’t excited about it. So, I’m not sure if I’m the weirdo or if he’s the weirdo. Try it at your own risk!
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{Love it} Lately

Cannot believe how happy having these
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and these
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in my house make me feel!

Pretty excited about my first completed sewing project in years! Not to mention the first thing I’ve ever sewn for Hollis. And to top it all off, this came from a $1 thrifted vintage pillowcase from Goodwill.
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Loving…indoor laps on the trike
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$1.50 egg dying kit + $1 grocery store eggs that saved me after my grand plans for crafting my own “natural” colors fell through (Read: not enough time! And I went this route planning on not eating the eggs, so, no harm done!)
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sunshine + shorts + tanktops (+ little girls who pick out their own outfits 🙂 )
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tractor rides with papa
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Happy Wednesday!