FriYAY Catch Up!

It’s FriYAYYYYY!

Let’s catch up on this past week, huh?

Did you know I was in Vegas last weekend celebrating with my little bachelorette, Betsy?! This was my first time in Vegas and unfortunately I got hit with a nasty cold on Friday (the day I got there) but I sucked it up and had an AWESOME time! I only lost $10. I’m too frugal to play anything but the penny slots! Hit a button, lose money, hit a button, lose money, etc. It was 114¬ļ F or something crazy like that while we were there but it was a dry heat so it didn’t feel so bad, especially when we were in the pool all day. ūüôā

Betsy Melanie

Considering the heat, and the fact that I didn’t feel well, my appetite was way¬†off. I managed to have two bigger meals over the weekend though at the hotel’s buffet. This is far from a pretty food photo but the food was really good! Check out my breakfast plate. It included: a fluffy pancake with a caramel buttery banana syrup, lots of bacon, fruit, pastries (took one bite and decided I could do better) and a crab leg! Yom yom yom.

Buffet Las Vegas

I’m one of those people who has a¬†realllllly hard time sleeping in no matter how late I stay up. Vegas is two hours ahead of MN, so can you guess what time I was awake on both Saturday and Sunday? Ok, I’ll tell ya…6:15 am. Lucky me, right? On Sunday morning, I knew no one else would be up for a while, so I got up, pumped, walked to breakfast (above), and then took a long stroll on the strip. I didn’t get to all of the hotels on the strip because there are a lot, but I made it to quite a few! My favorite was the Paris hotel and the Wynn. I was reliving my Paris trip like crazy. I definitely want to go back to Vegas again when it is a little cooler and spend more time looking at all of the hotels. They are beautiful.

I managed to pump, eat breakfast, walk the strip, and go to the pool all before the other girls woke up. Do I wish I could have slept in a bit longer? Of course. But since I couldn’t, I’m glad I made the most of being awake!

Paris Hotel Las Vegas

Such a fun weekend with the girls and so many more fun wedding festivities to come! Love you bride-to-be!!

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I feel like I have been getting so spoiled lately. Applegate and Sir Kensington’s hooked me up with major swag (giveaway winner announced at the bottom of this post!), and recently, Steve’s Paleo Goods sent me a SUPER awesome goodie bag!

Steve's PaleoGoods

Steve's Paleogoods

steve's paleo goods

Steve’s Paleo Goods makes on-the-go clean eating snacks and OMG I am impressed. In the kit he sent to me was the paleo sampler¬†which includes:

  • Apple PaleoKit
  • Ketchup
  • Cinnamon PaleoKrunch Cereal
  • Original PaleoKrunch Bar
  • Grass-Fed PaleoJerky (2.5oz)
  • PaleoJerky
  • Dried Strawberries

So far I’ve sampled the apple paleokit and the dried strawberries and holy cow you guys, this stuff is good.

I’m so inspired by this guy. If you have a second, read his story:¬†https://www.stevespaleogoods.com/the-first-paleokit-s/1834.htm¬†We need more people like this in our world! Thanks for the delicious samples, Steve!!!

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Switching gears….can you believe it’s the 4th of July weekend already?! I just don’t understand how that is possible already. We are having a fairly low-key weekend full of lots of family and relaxation. I need it. Ever since Bode has started daycare we have all been sick, so pretty much the whole entire month of June. Oh well.

Check out this fun and festive food post I put together a couple of years ago:

Independence Day Food!

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(UPDATED July 14th)

FINAL new giveaway winner announced because my 2nd winner never responded either! This is it folks.

The new winner of the¬†Applegate and Sir Kensington’s giveaway¬†is:

NATE E.!

Send me an email at beautifullynutty@gmail.com by tomorrow, July 15th! CONGRATS!!

Happy 4th of July to you all! What are your plans for the weekend?

I’m definitely hooking up with Katie today for Friday Favs!

Ham, Bacon & Potato Soup

What oh what to do with those delicious Easter leftovers from yesterday’s celebrations? Make some soup of course!

Ham, bacon, potato, veggies…..you know you want to.

ham bacon and potato soup   ham bacon and potato soup

I whipped this together in about 45 minutes and was SO pleased with the end result!

After I snapped these photos I sprinkled a generous handful of cheddar cheese on top so that it melted into this perfect bowl of soup. Um, YUM!

Recipe adapted/inspired from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cheesy-ham-chowder

Ham, Bacon & Potato Soup
Print
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 pieces of bacon (I used turkey bacon)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 1½ cups potato, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup ham, diced
  • cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • green onions, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon until crispy using your preferred method. I cooked mine on the stove top in a large pan. Remove from heat once cooked through. Let cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. In that same pan, saute onion, carrots, and celery in butter. Cook for 3-4 minutes until tender.
  3. Add potato, corn, chicken broth, water, and black pepper to the pan. Simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Add cooked ham and cooked bacon to the pan. Stir. Let simmer for 10 more minutes.
  5. Serve hot with cheddar cheese, sour cream and green onions (all optional).

Go get busy in the kitchen.

Chocolate Chip Date Cookies

Happy Friday! I’m keeping it short and naturally sweet…

MAKE THESE NOW!

chocolate chip date cookies chocolate chip date cookies

 

K, that was a little bossy but seriously, you should make these. These cookies are sweetened with dates and dark chocolate chips, are grain free and insanely delicious in my opinion!

Chocolate chip date cookies recipe courtesy of:  https://cheffingit.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/date-sweetened-chocolate-chip-cookies/

This girl knocked it out of the park.

YUM.

xoxo

Clean Eating: Back At It

Helllllooo! How are you all?!

I finally found my way back into the kitchen and I am stoked about it. After 11 weeks of eating whatever the heck I wanted, including loads of chocolate, ice cream, and Christmas goodies, my body was less than thrilled. I was starting to just feel pretty blah. I decided it was time to get back on the clean-eating train.

I’m doing a bit of a “cleanse” where I am removing caffeine, alcohol, dairy, soy, peanuts, processed sugars and gluten for a little while. I plan on sticking to this for at least a few days to give my body a jumpstart, and then I will continue with¬†a much cleaner eating plan versus what I had been eating! I will definitely add soy back in eventually and a little bit of dairy, but I do know that I am somewhat intolerant to cow’s milk so I will continue to moderate my dairy intake.

Here is what I have been eating these last few days!

Egg salad: This time I left out the capers though because I forgot.

egg salad

Raw “brownies”–I can’t keep my hands off of these.

fudgy brownie bites

A lentil salad from the book, “Clean” by Alejandro Jungers. I wrote a bit about the Clean diet back when. It’s full of lentils, veggies, and pineapple. It’s definitely different; not my favorite but not terrible.

Homemade gummy snacks with grape juice, gelatin, and a drop of lemon essential oil. A nice little treat!

. grape juice gelatin

Katie’s buffalo chicken quinoa¬†which I made for dinner last night! This was so delicious and so easy to make! I used red quinoa which is why it look different from Katie’s.

buffalo chicken quinoa

I stocked up on veggies and made sure they were cut up and ready to go:

  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • spinach
  • romaine lettuce

Mini mini burgers with grass-fed beef from the local co-op.

Cashews to snack on as well as brown rice cakes. I also made sure to buy a bunch of brown rice tortillas.

Almond butter and sunflower seed butter. Not as good as peanut butter but just wanted to give my body a bit of a break from it.

Frozen fruit, frozen spinach and almond milk for smoothies.

We have LOTS of good food around here!

Needless to say our grocery bill was a little high this week but it is SO worth it. I need to get my body back into a clean state. I’m already feeling better after just a short time of eating better. The saying is true, “you are what you eat.”

What are your favorite healthy whole food snacks?

Diet Changes During Pregnancy

My appetite currently in pregnancy is great! I’m nearly 28 weeks now. I wake up hungry or famished most mornings, eat breakfast, sometimes eat a snack mid-morning, always eat lunch, a snack in the afternoon usually, dinner, and a snack before bed.

Baby and I get pretty lethargic if we don’t get food when we are hungry, so I try and remember to always pack snacks when I am out and about.

I learned quickly that the snack before bed is a must otherwise I wake up insanely hungry in the middle of the night. My go-to bedtime snack is Greek yogurt with honey. Protein and carbs to tide me over for a while.

My diet has changed a few ways in pregnancy. I am eating more whole grains and not all of them are gluten-free. My body is tolerating the gluten and although I’m not going overboard with it, I am still eating regular bread, cereal, and snacks sometimes.

Also, I never know what I’m going to want to eat which makes planning meals ahead of time nearly a thing of the past. Dinners are usually pretty spontaneous these days. I’m still trying to clean out the freezer too! It’s going well!

Another thing I’m starting to notice, is that I feel much better when I eat smaller meals frequently opposed to large ones less often. This isn’t always completely doable with work, but I do my best. ¬†My stomach is getting smooshed and appreciates smaller quantities at a time.

What I’ve Been Eating…

I think this baby gets some pretty tasty eats. Time to check out what I’ve been eating lately. I’m linking up with Jenn today!

One day I was suffering with terrible allergies and had no inclination to make food but I knew I needed food. I had pulled up pizza delivery on the computer and was all ready to order. Then the light bulb went off and I decided I would make my own mini healthier pizza instead, and that it wouldn’t be that much work either.

I topped a gluten-free brown rice tortilla with leftover meaty spaghetti sauce, mozzarella, onions, and green olives. I baked it for 5-10 minutes or so and then broiled it. As simple as it was, it tasted so good. Sometimes simple is best.

tortilla pizza

I’m STILL drinking this smoothie every.single.morning. Not sick of it yet! This is a record for sure.

 

chocolate peanut butter smoothie

We had a perfect green bell pepper from our garden waiting to be used so I bought some farmer’s market tomatoes (we didn’t have enough ripe tomatoes in our garden yet) so that I could make a batch of fresh salsa.

homemade salsa

And it was delicious.

I can’t get enough of the frozen spinach cooked to steaming hot with a little butter and salt. Popeye would be so proud.

salsa shrimp spinach

I’m really enjoying my egg sandwiches still slathered with yellow mustard some time type of cheese.

egg sandwich

The southwest salad made an appearance this week! It’s as good as I remembered.

southwest salad

Yesterday I made myself a heaping veggie wrap. I packed it with cucumbers, red onion, banana peppers, pickles, Muenster cheese, spinach and arugula, tomatoes, mustard and mayo. This thing was massive, messy, and SO good!

veggie cheese wrap

 

There’s been a fair share of sweets being consumed lately. My go-to has been ice cream and frozen yogurt. Summertime just screams, “eat ice cream!”

 

frozen yogurt

 

There’s been no lack of good food consumed over here per usual. I haven’t been super creative in the kitchen, but find ways to make do. We’ve been going out to eat more often than before pregnancy too. I’m okay with this though since it’s at most once a week.

What are some of your favorite quick summer meals?

Thai Chicken Quinoa Salad

It’s BBQ season. That means lots of potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, and hamburgers ¬†(there’s nothing wrong with that from time to time). But why not switch it up every once in a while¬†and bring a delicious and healthy gluten-free salad to share instead?

Today I’m guest-posting for the sweet¬†and talented Kim who blogs at Hungry Healthy Girl. Head over to her blog to¬†check out my Thai Chicken Quinoa Salad recipe!

thai chicken quinoa salad.jpg

What’s your favorite dish to bring to a BBQ?¬†

 

Cheesy Broccoli Soup and BBQ Chicken

Happpppy hump day to all!

I’ve got a few food pics to share with you on this Wednesday for my rendition of WIAW….What I’ve Been Eating Lately.

First off, gluten-free spaghetti with meat sauce. I tossed in some kale, spinach, onions, and ground beef into the spaghetti sauce. And of course, I had to top the whole thing off with parmesan. I love this meal.

spaghetti

Lunch in New York: A burger. Go figure. My body really craves the iron from the red meat. Although my gut hasn’t been appreciating the greasy food.

burger

A side of super amazing brussels sprouts to try to “balance” my meal. These were so incredible. I’m guessing they were roasted in olive oil and seasoned simply with salt and pepper but if that’s all it is, then why can’t I make them this good at home?

brussels sprouts

I was so absorbed in the events of the wedding that I neglected to take a single food photo. There was A LOT of food and a lot of GOOD food! Take my word.

Saturday morning I was wiped. This girl just can’t stay up until midnight like she used to in the old days. Room service was a must. Oatmeal for me, with a side of fruit.

oatmeal

Back at the ranch home, I tried getting back on the healthy food train after my 29 hours away with a big ol’ green salad. Unfortunately I had to do everything in my power to get this down. Like I mentioned, these days¬†sometimes nothing sounds or tastes good!

salad

On Monday I made Peas and Crayon’s Broccoli Cheese Soup. Coincidentally, she is the one who hosts the WIAW link up!

broccoli cheese soup

This soup was pretty darn tasty if you ask me. I learned my lesson though to make sure and measure seasonings such as cayenne in a soup, because apparently my “eye-balling” it method¬†made for a soup with a bit of a kick! I had to add extra broth and half and half to try to tame it down.

IMG_1434

I really enjoyed it though.

Last night I made a cranberry BBQ chicken (recipe to come soon). I melted monterey jack over the chicken and served it alongside a baked potato and green beans. After eating almost¬†this entire plate of food, I remembered why I really shouldn’t¬†eat big meals anymore. I just felt nasty. Smaller meals is the way I need to go¬†these days. It’s just tough to do with work!

chicken potato green beans

I’ve been a cereal eating machine lately. My latest grocery grab was Honey Nut Chex.

honey nut chex gluten free

And lots of blueberries have been consumed in the last week as well.

blueberries

Y.U.M.

Lots of good eats once again! Thanks to Jenn for hosting WIAW!

Do you prefer small meals or large meals?

What’s your favorite cereal lately?

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

Remember how I told you I treated myself this weekend to some time in the kitchen baking, cooking, etc.? Well one of my goodies that I baked up was two loaves of gluten-free sandwich bread.

I used my nutty gluten-free bread recipe but substituted in some brown rice flour for the almond flour (recipe is below). The end product was a loaf of bread which wasn’t quite as dense or moist as the full almond flour bread. It has more of a sandwich bread consistency. I was pretty pumped about this! At first bite it tasted a bit to me like corn bread, and to me, that was a good thing!

gluten-free sandwich bread.jpggluten-free bread gluten-free bread gluten-free bread gluten-free bread

It would be perfect with some deli sliced turkey, mustard and veggies, and of course you can’t go wrong with a pb and j.

What I love about this recipe, and the nutty gluten-free bread recipe, is that they are SO easy. You literally put everything into one bowl at one time, mix it all together, and bake it. That’s it. No need to dirty up any extra bowls for this one.

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Print
Makes two small loaves.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 egg white
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350¬įF.
  2. Mix together all ingredients (I use a hand-mixer).
  3. Pour into two lightly greased bread loaf pans.
  4. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Bread is done when toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

You could try making this in one loaf pan for a taller loaf, but I can’t make any guarantees how it would turn out and of course baking times would vary. Feel free to experiment though!

Enjoy and happy Thursday!

What is your favorite sandwich? 

I love a good old turkey sandwich from Subway with all of the veggies (minus jalape√Īos) with a little bit of mustard. That is another thing I have actually kind of been craving during pregnancy but since I am staying clear of deli meats, I will have to wait another five months. I am PERFECTLY okay with that! Hehe. I also really like any sandwich with melted cheese. Pb and J is a fav too. Oooo and Cubans. NUM!

Raw Cocoa Bars

Thank you for all of the sweet comments in reply to my last few posts! In case you missed them:

Beautiful Changes
Pregnancy: Some of the Details
Gender Reveal: It’s a…

We are so excited to know that we are having a boy and are dreaming about what he will look like, what his personality will be like, and what his interests will be! I’m also having a really good time starting to think about how I want to decorate the baby room.

I have baby on my mind all the time….but one must still eat and function on a day-to-day basis. ūüôā

Yesterday I was a busy girl in the kitchen. Along with baking GF bread, and prepping fruits and veggies,¬†I also put together a super tasty, fudgy, chocolaty bar. This bar is refined sugar-free, raw, and perfectly healthy! It’s great as a snack or even a dessert.

raw cocoa bars.jpg

There are only four ingredients involved in this bar:

  1. Dates
  2. Almonds
  3. Walnuts
  4. Raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder such as Hershey’s)

raw cocoa bars raw cocoa bars raw cocoa bars

They are so easy and so delicious. I ate three yesterday and wanted to keep going back. What I love about making my own bars is that I can make them in whatever sizes I wish. I like to make them in a variety of sizes because you never know when you might need just a mini pick-me-up or a more substantial one!

Raw Cocoa Bars
Print
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted almonds (I used raw)
  • ¼ cup unsalted walnuts
  • 1 cup dates (pits removed)
  • 3 Tbsp. raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder such as Hershey's)
Instructions
  1. In food processor, add almonds and walnuts and process until they resemble wet sand texture; pour into small bowl and set aside.
  2. Add dates to food processor. Process until mixture begins to form a ball, and pieces are small.
  3. Add nut mixture and cacao powder into food processor with the dates. Process until combined; about 1 minute.
  4. Form combined mixture into bars or balls using your hands and store in air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks (they last longer but they start to get hard).

There you have it! You don’t have to get the oven going, they are easy, AND they are healthy. There’s no reason not to make these cute lil’ guys!

Happy Monday my friends!

Spaghetti Cauli-fredo

I wish I could take credit for the recipe you are about to see, because in my opinion it is sheer genius.

I am not one to usually order any dish with alfredo sauce because in general, I feel like absolute crud after I eat it. This isn’t to say that I don’t¬†enjoy the taste of alfredo sauce because I most certainly do. So when I ran across this recipe for healthy, lighter alfredo sauce, I knew I had to give it a go.

This recipe comes from Pinch of Yum¬†and uses steamed cauliflower as the base of the sauce. You’re initial reaction may be, “blah, that is going to taste absolutely disgusting like cooked cauliflower,” but no, no, no. It doesn’t.

When I took my first bite of the sauce I was 100% blown away at how much it actually tasted like real alfredo sauce.

cauli-fredo

I followed the recipe except I cut it in half. Here is Pinch of Yum’s cauli-fredo recipe:

Author: Pinch of Yum
Serves: makes about 5 cups
INGREDIENTS
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5-6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 6-7 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon pepper (more to taste)
  • ¬Ĺ cup milk (more to taste)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Garlic: Saute the minced garlic with the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. Cook for several minutes or until the garlic is soft and fragrant but not browned (browned or burnt garlic will taste bitter). Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Cauliflower: Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Add the cauliflower and cook, covered, for 7-10 minutes or until cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
  3. Puree: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cauliflower pieces to the blender. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or cooking liquid, sauteed garlic/butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend or puree for several minutes until the sauce is very smooth, adding more broth or milk depending on how thick you want the sauce. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender. Serve hot! If the sauce starts to look dry, add a few drops of water, milk, or olive oil.
NOTES
I like to add a little bit of olive oil for the flavor and to help keep the sauce really smooth. Several other readers have mentioned that they really liked the addition of Parmesan cheese as well.
To check out her website: Pinch of Yum
I whipped up a batch of brown rice spaghetti, seamed broccoli and one chicken sausage. I added the cauli-fredo sauce to the pasta, broccoli, and chicken, gave it a good stir and plated it up. I added a touch more salt and pepper, then finished it with parmesan cheese. *Note—you don’t need to use all of the sauce. I halved her¬†recipe and I used half of that sauce for Dana and my portions.
cauli-fredo
The sauce is creamy and¬†garlicky. I ate a little too much I think because I was feeling pretty full the rest of the evening because it was just SO good. It’s a rich dish and a really truly delicious dish.
cauli-fredo
Still skeptical? Don’t be. Be adventurous and try it out for yourself!¬†