Cowboy Caviar Mini Bell Peppers

What a great weekend that went by all too fast as always. How about catching you up a bit from the last time we touched base which would be Saturday around lunch time.

In my belly…a harvest pear salad with romaine lettuce, pears, walnuts, feta cheese, and poppy-seed dressing. Complete with fall leaves in the background of the photo.

After lunch I got to work preparing an appetizer for a Halloween party we were going to that evening.

Cowboy Caviar Mini Bell Peppers

I combined tomatoes, black beans, corn, avocado, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper to make a cowboy caviar. I then halved orange and yellow mini bell peppers, took out the seeds and the stem, and filled each boat with cowboy caviar. Delicious, healthy and beautiful to boot!

To the Halloween part-ay we went. We were greeted by this beautiful witch brewing up a secret potion and making snarky remarks at us.

Before I reveal what Dana and I dressed up as, let’s have a little fun and let me give you some hints and see if you can guess.

  1. I am holding our newest child Penelope.
  2. Our son Mason is at auntie Kimmy’s for the night.

Any Kardashian fans out there? I was Kourtney Kardashian and Dana was her boyfriend Scott Disick. That’s alright if you didn’t get it, most of our friends didn’t know either.

Our lovely hosts for the evening were Freddie Mercury (Adam) and Katniss (Stacy). It made me feel better that I didn’t know who either of them were dressed up as either. It was a general theme for the night—no one knew who anyone was supposed to be.

Except for the egg. I knew that Amanda was an egg. :wink:

We had a great time as always being with our friends, munching on some great chow, and  laughing at everyone’s ridiculous costumes. We were home and into bed by midnight and I was wide awake at 8:00 am Sunday morning.

Sunday

I made myself a chopped banana with Parkers Farm peanut butter and cinnamon.

I also drank a cup of coffee while we flipped through the Sunday paper. Next, we hit the road for our grocery shopping extravaganza. We will be leaving for our vacation to Colombia in just a few days, but we needed to stock up the fridge for a very special guest who will be staying at our house with the pup.

We got a late start on running our errands so by the time we got home it was 1:00 pm and we were both very hungry. I notice that’s a common theme around our house. I was excited that I had leftover cowboy caviar from the appetizer on Saturday, so we cooked up a few over easy eggs, topped them on top the leftover cowboy caviar with some cheese, and had a protein packed and super tasty meal within minutes.

In the afternoon I made myself change into workout clothes and took the dog out for 2.6 mile run around the neighborhood. I could tell I was tired and dehydrated because it was a pretty difficult run for me.

A very good friend of mine was in town for the weekend so I got to see him and his beautiful girlfriend for a little while, then mom and dad stopped over too! After that we did a little packing and got ourselves ready for the week ahead.

Oh and we ate dinner too…a turkey burger served on top of a salad with onion, tomato, cheese, and green olives.

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Yoga Challenge

Since it’s Monday that means it’s time to check in on the last October Yoga Challenge for the month! I can’t believe the month is over in a couple of days. I kind of feel like October didn’t happen it flew by so fast, but IT DID. Don’t let me fool you.

This past week I got in not one, but two yoga sessions. The first one was a full body session and the second was a session geared towards athletes. I completed the whole month’s challenge using OnDemand yoga sessions. Once again, I loved every second of this challenge.

Yoga is about connecting the body and the mind, and it is good for all of us to take the time to practice that. Whether or not you are lying on a yoga mat, or sitting in your office, take 30 seconds periodically to become aware of your mind and body. Focus on your breathing if you are feeling overwhelmed. Remind yourself to live in the moment.

I said this before but I do truly mean it again, I really hope to continue to include yoga in my life even though this challenge comes to an end. I feel better after every session and it reminds me to stay calm and helps me to control stress. Thanks to Courtney for hosting this challenge once again!

Namaste.

*****Thinking of all of my friends and family on the east coast. Stay safe!*****

Broccoli White Bean Soup

Hi there! How is everyone’s weekend panning out so far?

Friday was a great day. It began with a perfectly ripe banana with peanut butter that I tossed in the microwave for 20 seconds to make drizzly, and a little bit of honey.

I did a couple of odds and ends around the house while anxiously awaiting Kate’s arrival. Oh yes, my friend who is in town that I mentioned yesterday is the wonderful Kate. She was one of my bridesmaids, we were roommates in college, and our friendship goes back to 8th grade.

She recently moved out of state and I miss her dearly. She’s home for the weekend so we made plans to go for a nice long walk around the neighborhood and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather.

Before we headed out, I snacked on a LARABAR Über Roasted Nut Roll bar. The kind folks of LARABAR sent me these four to sample.

The verdict on the Über? MMMmmm, so good! It tasted like a healthy version of a salted nut roll. Yes, please. I’m excited to try the rest of the flavors! It did a nice job of holding me over for a couple of hours too.

Kate and I were out for over an hour, walking and talking, catching up, and taking in the beautiful sights and smells of fall. It made me so incredibly happy to see her. It was bittersweet saying good bye as always, BUT I will be seeing her again in about one month because I will be journeying out to Georgia to visit her! I can’t wait! I love love love her, my Katie boo boo boo. :smile:

Throughout the afternoon I tackled random projects around the house. I organized the front closet, did some laundry, reorganized our kitchen, and brought up wedding gifts that we still had in the basement that we now have room for upstairs.

Then it was time to get dinner brewing. On the menu: Broccoli White Bean Soup. While I got to concocting the soup, Dana got to work making a fire in the fireplace. Our first one of the season.

So pretty! A short while later, dinner was served and it was enjoyed in front of the fire.

Warm soup in front of the fire in my sweatpants with my hubby and dog. Does it get more comforting than that? The soup turned out fantastic. I am very proud of it and excited to share the recipe with you all.

Broccoli White Bean Soup
Print

Recipe type: Dairy-Free; SCD-Friendly
Serves 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans or other white bean
  • ½ Tbsp. dried thyme
  • dash of nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 32 ounces lower sodium chicken broth*
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Diced turkey bacon (optional)
  • *substitute vegetable broth if vegetarian
Instructions
  1. Use olive oil to lightly coat medium soup pot.
  2. Add onion and garlic; saute for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add beans, thyme,nutmeg, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and broth; mix well.
  4. Use immersion blender to puree onions and beans in the pot.
  5. Add broccoli, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Use immersion blender and pulse 1-2x to puree some of the broccoli, but leaving most of the pieces whole.
  7. Spoon soup into bowls, and top with parmesan cheese and bacon (optional).

The rest of the night was spent relaxing with the men of the house, eating some cocoa banana soft-serve, and hitting the hay early.

Now, I am ready to take on another productive day. I hope you all have a snazzy Saturday!

xoxo, M

 

Prescribe Myself Some Rest

Hi friends! I had so much fun reliving my weekend at the Healthy Living Summit, but I am happy to now be back to normalcy again. In case you missed it, you can catch up on my most recent HLS Boston trip.

Destination Boston HLS12

Shake Out the Nerves: HLS Day 1

Cheers to New Friends: HLS Day 2

Decisions, Decisions: HLS Day 3

It’s time to get back into the groove. You remember how this works right? It’s time for a breakdown of my Wednesday. Here we go.

Breakfast

Overnight Chia Bowl made with:

  • Fage 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • chia seeds
  • stevia
  • blueberries
  • strawberries

I let all of the ingredients except the strawberries mingle together over night, and topped the bowl with fresh strawberries in the morning.

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Lunch

Curry turkey salad over a bed of lettuce. I wrote down the recipe for this one but haven’t decided if I want to share or not because I wasn’t over the top thrilled by it. It was good though don’t get me wrong.

In the mix: celery, onions, turkey breast, grapes, Greek yogurt, and spices.

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Dinner

I stopped at mom and dad’s after work to hang out with them before heading over to meet with some girl friends for So You Think You Can Dance? I munched on some trail mix while relaxing, and then made my way to the table for dinner.

I had a very random, yet delicious dinner: spinach, green beans, and tomato…

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And a half of a banana with peanut butter for some protein which went unphotographed so I used an old photo instead. Perfect!

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The rest of the evening was spent with my girlfriends Amanda, Jules, and Sara. We girl-talked it up, watched SYTYCD, and ate M & M’s (BTW I have been over-doing it on the chocolate lately) while lounging on the couch. I had a great time with them, and always do. Kate, we missed you!

U.C. Update

I was going to end this post with a recipe, but decided to wait on that and give you an update on my Ulcerative Colitis instead. It has now been 3 months that I have been sick and unfortunately, I have to report that I’m still not feeling well. Certain symptoms have subsided such as bloating, which I can mostly attribute to removing gluten from my diet, but other symptoms (which I’ll spare you the details of) are still not under control.

I go through peaks and valleys where I am feeling fairly well for a few days, and then something happens whether it’s stress or a busy weekend, and I am thrown off again.

I am finding my energy level to be very low, so much as I am not working out nearly as much as I used to and it’s becoming less and less of a priority. Sleeping has become the priority, and I am truly trying to honor my body’s request for it.

I am seeing the doctor regularly, eating a very healthy diet, taking my medications as prescribed, sleeping, being active when I can, but the one thing I know need to work on is rest. With the summer being so busy, it is hard to rest. Maybe I should give myself a prescription to rest, then maybe I’ll do it? I’ll work on that. I think this is something that most of us could probably work on, am I right?

My mom reminds me that in the big picture of life, this time in my life is just a small little nick in the frame. With that being said, I must remind myself that not working out is not a big deal right now, and that rest is okay and saying no to invites is okay and that friends will understand. It’s hard to remember that when you are so used to the opposite.

I don’t mean to be a downer but I really wanted you all to get an update because it’s been a little while since I’ve given you one. I continue to try to stay positive, but this is really taking a toll on me. I won’t be sick forever, I can promise you that. I was just hoping to have fought this off already. I’m still me, just a more delicate me. I can’t wait for the day when I can tell you I am in remission and feeling fabulous. Let’s hope it’s soon.

Thank you all for letting me vent. I feel much better. I hope you all have a great Thursday and I look forward to catching up with you again soon!

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Pasta

We are having the most incredibly beautiful weather here in Minnesota. The nights are falling to the mid 50’s and daytime in the mid 70’s.

This makes for perfect weather for a morning run. I hit the road for a 3.37 mile run (according to MapMyRun) and the temperature was 56°.

I jammed out to my Jack Johnson radio station on Pandora and ran at a leisurely pace. I find that my running pace often matches my music tempo. I was in the mood for a slower run, so I thought this music selection would be perfect and I was right, it was. My average pace was 9:37 minutes per mile. I think I’ve finally concluded that I’m not a fast runner, and I’m not sure if I ever will be a fast runner and I am okay with that.

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I am starting to enjoy running again and am very happy to be able to say that.

My day’s eats went undocumented except for dinner.

Dinner

Zucchini pasta.

 

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Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup green olives, diced
  • 6 grape tomatoes, quartered
  • parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped

Directions

  1. Place zucchini pasta in strainer in sink, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  2. In a large pan, sauté mushrooms, onion, and garlic in olive oil for 4 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini, salt and pepper, green olives, and tomatoes until heated through.
  4. Plate up pasta and top with parmesan and basil. Enjoy!

This was such an easy, fresh, and inexpensive meal. Both Dana and I really liked it! 

Dessert

Strawberry banana soft serve!

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A friend of mine asked for the recipe for this dessert and although I don’t have any exact measurements, I will do my best to help you out!

Strawberry Banana Soft Serve

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • a splash of almond milk (maybe 2 tablespoons)

Directions

  1. Place ingredients in blender and patiently blend until smooth. You will need to periodically stop the blender and push the frozen fruit around to get things moving. Once a soft serve consistency is reached, it’s ready to eat!

Happy Saturday to everyone. Catch up with ya’ll soon.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Happy Hump Day! Hope everyone is doing well on this mid-week day .

Breakfast

Breakfast yesterday was a smoothie-on-the-go packed with strawberries, blueberries, banana and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I love how the vanilla almond milk tastes in the smoothie.

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Lunch

A seriously rockin’ salad. Mixed greens with mango, blueberries, strawberries, avocado, almonds, feta cheese, and Newman’s Own Lite Raspberry Walnut vinaigrette.

Honestly this salad rocked my socks.

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I worked a half day yesterday, so afterwards I headed to mom and dad’s. I ate dessert when I got there (I always raid the cupboards upon arrival), which was peanut butter and chocolate chips while I said hi to Abbie (mom and dad’s sweet little Yorkie-poo who I adore).

Then I changed into my workout gear, laced up the ol’ sneakers, and hit the pavement. I jogged/walked their neighborhood and covered 4.5 miles. It was mid-80’s and sunny while I was out and I have determined I am a weenie when it comes to running in the heat. I melted and ended up running 70% of the time and walking 30% of the time, and that may be a little generous even on the running side.

After the “wun” (walk/run), I headed to the basement to cool off. I still had some mojo left, so I hopped on their elliptical for 10 minutes while watching Giada at Home. Finally, I finished with the bench press.

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I gave Abbie one last kiss and headed out the door back home to my own big puppy and hubby.

Snack

For an afternoon snack I had a bowl of cooked carrots with cinnamon and sugar.

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Dinner

Not long after my snack, both Dana and I were getting super hungry, so I figured I may as well start dinner instead of more snacking.

For dinner I made Black Bean Quinoa Burgers.

To the food processor I added 2 cups of cooked black beans, 1/4 cup diced onion, 1 minced garlic glove, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1 tablespoon of cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 cup salsa, 2 tablespoons egg whites, salt and pepper, and a miniature pinch of red pepper flakes.

I pulsed these ingredients until combined, leaving it slightly chunky and making sure not to let it turn into a hummus paste.

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I chilled the mixture for about 5 minutes. We got too impatient to wait any longer, plus the mixture was still cold from using cold ingredients so it was easy to handle.

I formed the mixture into 7 patties and placed them on a lightly sprayed piece of aluminum foil. Before they hit the grill I sprinkled them with garlic and onion powder.

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We grilled them over medium-low heat for 20 minutes; flipping halfway through.

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I topped my burger with salsa and avocado, and served it alongside a simple green salad with cheddar cheese and Western dressing.

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Talk about a great meatless meal and perfect for the summer because I didn’t have to use the oven at all. Niiiiiiice.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • a dash of chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup salsa, heaping
  • 2 Tbsp. egg white

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to medium-low.
  2. In food processor, lightly pulse all ingredients and keep chunky.
  3. Form into patties and place on lightly sprayed aluminum foil. Place on grill.
  4. Grill for 20 minutes; flipping on foil halfway.

Dessert

While watching the Olympics, we whipped up a wonderfully creamy dessert that I have grown to LOVE. Cocoa banana soft serve baby; cocoa powder, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and frozen bananas.

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So good.

I’ll leave you with that beautiful sight. Have a great day!

Chocolate Chip Cookies Paleo Style

Good day to you all! I hope everyone’s weekend is off to a great start. I’m pretty sure I have deemed Friday as my favorite day of the week. At the end of the work day it’s so nice knowing that I have the whole weekend ahead of me to do as I please.

My Friday

I started my day with a banana pancake topped with honey and PB2. I made it the night before so that all I had to do in the morning was pop it in the microwave and add some toppings. I’m all about anything that make early mornings easier for me.

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I am attempting to wean back on the nut butter a bit because I was seriously getting out of hand and eating it by the spoonfuls. I think it was a combination of factors: I may have felt slightly deprived from the diet, I don’t love meat, and I felt like it was something that actually satisfied my belly. Now that I am starting to incorporate more of my favorite proteins again, quinoa, beans, and eggs, I am able to cut back on the nut butter. I will not be cutting it out however!

For lunch I ate the same awesome Greek-inspired salad as yesterday.

After work, I headed straight to the gym yet again. I hit the elliptical for 20 minutes, then moved to the treadmill for a mile run all while watching the Olympic women’s 10,000 meter race. Holy cow those ladies are speedy! It was great motivation to keep me moving. After cardio, I moved to the free weights to pound out a chest and tricep workout. I finished with some core work. Strength training two days in a row! It has been a while since that has happened.

For dinner I made a taco salad.

In the mix:

  • mixed greens
  • cilantro
  • black beans
  • cheddar cheese
  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • and ranch dressing

I debated whether or not to top the salad with salsa, but have found in the past that I am usually disappointed if I use salsa as my dressing, so I opted for one I knew I would like.

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After dinner I wanted dessert. I found a Paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe from Delighted Momma and decided to give it a whirl.

I made a few changes though of course as I always do. Instead of the coconut oil, I used organic applesauce and instead of using 4 whole eggs, I used 3 eggs plus 1 egg white. For the chocolate chip part, I bought carob chips from the natural food store in town. I have never used them before but know they can be substituted for chocolate chips and are a healthier option. The ones I bought were dairy free. 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies Paleo Style

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup organic applesauce
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cup carob chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In mixing bowl beat together applesauce, honey, eggs, egg white, vanilla, and salt until well combined.
  3. Next, stir in coconut flour, coconut, and carob chips.
  4. Roll into balls and flatten slightly*; place on parchment paper or non-stick baking mat.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

*The cookies do not change their shape from pre-cooked to post-cooking so flattening them makes them more cookie like.

Thank you Delighted Mama for the inspiration! I loved these cookies. They have a coconutty chocolatey flavor, a soft texture, and are slightly addicting.

I hope you all enjoy! I am off to soak up the weekend. Hope you are too.

The Return of Oatless Oats

Happy Friday!

So you know when you have those nights where you just want to eat and eat and eat, and it doesn’t matter how much you stuff your face you still want to keep eating? Well, I had one of those nights last night, (says the dietitian). Hey, I’m only human!

While getting dinner ready, I munched on some unsalted roasted almonds and a few raspberries. This was my appetizer.

For dinner I sautéed zucchini and green beans (both from our garden), onion (farmer’s market), mushrooms, and a small amount of black beans. I wanted to test out the black beans and see how my body reacted in relation to the U.C. because I have really been missing my beans. The bean verdict: in small amounts I can handle them just fine as long as they are very well cooked and soft.

I sprinkled the veggie sauté with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper. Two minutes before the veggies were done, I got to work cooking up an over-easy egg.

Once the egg was done, I plated up my veggies, next went the egg, fresh tomatoes (from the garden too), cilantro, and Wild Harvest’s mango salsa.

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I so love veggies with a runny egg on top.

After dinner, I then made myself a big bite of PB2 with honey, followed by a couple of pieces of chocolate. I wanted more but was realizing that I didn’t need more, so I walked away. I turned Wheel of Fortune on, grabbed a couple of hand weights, and started walking in place while working the arms. This took my mind off of food and finally my body realized I didn’t need a-n-y-m-o-r-e. Reminder to myself: mindful eating.

Lunch

I jumped ahead here, so let us back-pedal it now. I am very proud of my lunch today. It was seriously awesome.

I made a Greek-inspired chicken salad which included:

  • pulled chicken breast
  • zucchini
  • grape tomatoes
  • green olives
  • feta cheese
  • balsamic basil dressing

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I loved this flavor combo so much that I made if for my lunch again today. I also had a banana, clementine, and believe it or not some cooked carrots. :wink: Cooked carrots every day keeps the doctor away? Not in my case I guess, but maybe!?

Now to breakfast.

It has been a long time since I made this one: oatless oatmeal. In the mix: 1/4 cup egg whites, 1/2 banana, somewhere between 1/4 and a 1/2 cup of almond milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Blend all ingredients together. Pour onto non-stick pan and cook over medium heat. Use spatula to stir and mix while the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. This process only takes about 3 minutes, so keep an eye on it and keep stirring.

The mixture will have a runny oatmeal like consistency when done. Pour into your bowl, top with a drizzle of honey if you wish, and a spoonful of peanut butter. This was such a nice change of pace, AND it’s SCD friendly too! It’s the return of the oatless oats. I hope to remember this one more often.

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I did make it to the gym yesterday. I headed straight there after work because I knew if I came home first, I would never make it there. I warmed up with a mile run on the treadmill then made my way to the weights to workout my back and biceps. I also did some core work.

I am off to tackle my Friday. Excited it’s almost the weekend! Have a great day my friends!

“Fauxtmeal” Raisin Cookie Bites

August 1st? Really?! Holy cow time is flying by so fast I can hardly keep up.

Dehydrated Fruit and Veggies

So, remember how I told you I bought a food dehydrator? Well, it has been taken out of it’s box and gotten some action. My first attempt with the machine involved carrots and bananas.

For the bananas, I sliced them thinly, gave them a squirt of lemon juice to slow down the browning, and placed them on the tray.

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As for the carrots, I used the wonderfully fresh carrots from the farmer’s market and sliced them into thin coins as well. I was hoping that the purple carrots would be purple all the way through, but no such luck. Once I peeled them they were orange on the inside. Still beautiful though.

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I placed all of the coins onto the dehydrator, set the cover on it, and turned it on. This particular one doesn’t have a temperature setting, so you just have to monitor your food while it’s going to check for doneness.

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Considering carrots are made up of so much water, I expected them to shrink down quite a bit, and they did. They’re cute little bites. Next time, I will be using a different technique to cut them so that they are a little bit bigger. The texture of the carrots turned our crunchy, which is how I wanted them.

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There are two textures that can come of the banana chips, and probably any fruit or veggie that gets dehydrated: crisp or chewy. The outcome depends on how thick or thin the fruit is cut, and how long you let them dehydrate. I like my banana chips crunchy, and Dana likes his chewy, so I made sure to vary the size of slices so we could both be accommodated. Just kidding

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I don’t know for sure how long the carrots and bananas were in the dehydrator. Next time I make a batch, I’ll pay better attention so I can let you know.

Keep in mind that with any dried fruit, you want to watch your serving sizes. Dried fruit has a lot concentrated sugar, so you want to keep it to a minimum. I particularly wanted the dehydrator so that I could make snacks for us when we needed to be away from home because these hold up very well with traveling. Also, I absolutely love dried fruit, and although I try not to go too nuts on it because of the high sugar content, when I do eat it, I would much rather make my own and know what exactly is going into it; no preservatives, no added sugars or fats.

The banana chips at the store are often loaded with saturated fat because they add oil to the drying process (which is why the ones in the store are so crunchy like a chip). Be careful!

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Tuesday Evening

After work last night I headed to the gym and pounded out 35 minutes on the elliptical while reading the latest addition of Runner’s World magazine.  I contemplated hitting the weights afterwards but then shied away for some reason. Darnit! I need to get back on those weights.

Dinner last night was nearly identical to my lunch the day before, except for instead of chicken, I topped the salad with almonds. I swear it was even better this time around, if that’s possible.

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Now, onto yet another recipe. I have had a lot of recipes lately and I love it! These are no bake energy bites that I make in the food processor. I shared another recipe with you a while back for another version of these treats called Cocoa Craisy Energy Bites.

Here is my newest creation.

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“Fauxtmeal” Raisin Cookie Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 13 dates (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla

Directions

  1. In food processor, process almonds until they reach a coarse sand texture. Transfer to a small bowl.
  2. In food processor, process remaining ingredients until finely ground and well combined.
  3. Add almonds in with date mixture; process until combined. Use hands to shape mixture into 1 inch balls. Store in air-tight container.

They taste like oatmeal raisin cookies hence the name. You could also roll them in coconut for an added thrill. :wink: These are perfect pick-me-up snacks. They are great if you are needing a small boost of energy and heck, they are great for a healthy dessert too!

I am signing off for the day. Enjoy your hump day and I’ll be catching up with you soon!

Random Question of the Day: What food is your biggest vice lately?

Lately, mine has been nut butter. I can’t seem to keep my hands off of it. It is getting to the point where I am putting myself on a “cool-it” time out with it. Obviously nut butter is packed full of fat and calories, so it’s important to monitor the intake. But, it also has good things too like protein, so don’t get me wrong; I am a huge promotor. Just keep your portions to 2 tablespoons or less per day.

Chicken with Cherries & Olives

Hi again! After yesterday’s more serious post about modifying the SCD to fit my lifestyle, I thought I would make today’s post very light, including a couple of awesome recipes. But first…

Monday Recap

Breakfast: Almond bread with almond butter, honey, and banana slices. I went back for a round two slice without the bananas though.

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Run: Breakfast did a great job of fueling me for a great 3-mile run around the neighborhood. I took it nice and slow and it actually felt like  good run for once. It’s been a long time since I could say that. I am excited to start incorporating more of it into my routine again. My next race is a 5k at the end of August, and I am going to be ready!

Lunch: I salivate over these salads. Mixed greens with grilled chicken, strawberries, avocado, mandarin orange slices, feta cheese, and raspberry walnut vinaigrette (Newman’s Own). Insanely delicious. These are the salads I have been missing all summer. It’s time to make up for lost time.

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After lunch, my mom and Abbie came over and we hung out and girl-talked it up for a while outside. As always, I love my family time. :smile:

Dinner: Quinoa with kale basil pesto.

For the pesto: food process two small handfuls of fresh kale, about 2-3 tablespoons (I used 7-8 small leaves) of fresh basil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of garlic olive oil, garlic powder, and salt until well blended. Mix the pesto in with cooked quinoa, top it with parmesan cheese, and you have yourself a winner winner quinoa dinner.

 

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Our evening was spent watching the Olympics. My favorite is still gymnastics, but I am really loving the volleyball (except it makes me so nervous), and synchronized diving. I love it all though, really. My husband’s crazy love for the Olympics is starting to rub off on me a little bit.

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The second recipe comes from Sunday night. I scanned our fridge for dinner ideas and after seeing the cherries and olives, I thought hmm…I could do something with that.

I remembered a chicken dish that Dana’s mom had made for us a while back that had dried cherries and olives, so I thought I would try to make something of that sort except use fresh cherries instead, since that is what we had on hand.

Ready to see what I came up with?

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Baked Chicken with Cherries and Olives

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cherries, pitted and cut in half
  • 1/4 cup green olives, sliced
  • 3/4 cup red wine (I used a red zinfandel)
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Directions

  1. Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
  2. Use cooking spray to lightly coat a large non-stick skillet; cook chicken over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until the inside is no longer pink; remove from pan.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the hot pan, bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil until liquids reduce and you are left with about 1/4 inch of sauce in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Return chicken back to pan, allow to heat through for 5 minutes, and serve warm.

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This dish paired well with quinoa and would be great with a side of steamed green beans as well. It could be made for date night, a dinner party, or even just a casual Sunday evening. Have fun with it!

Happy Tuesday!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite go-to summer lunch?

Cute Little Turkey Meatloaves

Oh, happy day, oh happy day! Let’s give a woot woot for Friday! I have a ferocious appetite this Friday morning–I don’t know what’s up with that, but I’m feedin’ it. I have a great recipe to share with you all from last night, but first I want to share a few bits and pieces from Thursday.

The past couple of days I was at a conference for work. The conference was held on the U of Minnesota campus and believe it or not, I had never really been on campus. I’ve been to the U of M but never actually walked around the campus. It is beautiful and BIG!

On the first day, I slightly underestimated the amount of traffic there would be, and was running a twinge late. Then, when I made it to my destination, I had the challenge of finding the parking ramp. I finally found the parking ramp after making a couple of rounds around the area. Once I parked, I made sure to record where I had parked by snapping a photo.

Does anyone else do this? It’s especially essential for me to either take a photo or write down where I parked when I’m in a bit of a frenzy as I was that day, otherwise I will never remember where I parked, and ramps are incredibly confusing to me. I actually wasn’t planning to post that photo but it turned out to be kind of neat. The photo was from day 1, and on day 2, I made sure to park in the exact same spot.

On Day 2 (yesterday), I was in a much calmer mood walking onto campus since I was now familiar with where to park, which building to go to, and which room the conference was in. I even packed a backpack to carry all of my stuff so that I didn’t have to look like the crazy person about to drop a purse, a lunch bag, a binder, and a sweater as she sweats her way to the parking ramp at the end of the day, which was me the day before.

I definitely looked like a student, and felt like a student again, walking on to campus with my backpack, and confidently knowing right where I was supposed to go. It felt great.

In that ol’ backpack of mine (Dana’s actually), I packed all of my running gear and my lunch. Once we got let out for our hour-long lunch break, I quickly changed into my running gear and hit the road. There was a sidewalk right along the river that I ran right along, and the views were gorgeous. I got a couple of stanky wiffs of dead fish, but even with that, it was beautiful.

I’m not used to running mid-day or afternoon for that matter, so it felt very hot to me, but there was a nice breeze that helped to keep me cooler. It couldn’t have been a more perfect afternoon.

I have noticed that I am not in the best running shape anymore. I haven’t been running as much lately due to minimal energy and discomforts from the U.C., but small runs here and there have been feeling okay. I will get my running juice back, I just need to work up to it again.

Yesterday on my lunch run, I covered just under 3 miles. Then, I headed to my car to blast the AC, cool down, and eat my lunch, before heading back to the conference. I was so proud of myself for going for a run during break. It helped to keep me feeling warm(er) during the afternoon in the freezing cold auditorium, and also helped keep me awake. Another plus is that I didn’t have to go to the gym afterwards which is really great because I didn’t get home until nearly 6:00, and I was HUNGRY.

Dinner

My foodie brain had wandered during the morning portion of the conference, and I had created our dinner meal in my head. I texted Dana, “Mini turkey meatloaf and grilled zucchini and artichokes?” His reply, “num.” When I got home Dana had done a lot of the prep work for me already: chopped the carrots, onion, green olives, zucchini sticks, mushrooms (I added this idea later after that first text), and lastly artichoke hearts. I got to work on the rest of the prep and came up with a seriously tasty recipe for you all. No need to dilly dally, here it is!

Cute Little Turkey Meatloaves (makes 7 muffin sized loaves)

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup carrots, diced finely
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • a dash of cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • ketchup or BBQ sauce (I used homemade SCD BBQ sauce)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°**. Prepare 7 muffin tins by spraying with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In medium bowl, use hands to combine all ingredients except ketchup/BBQ sauce. Do not overmix.
  3. Press mixture into prepared muffin cups, leaving 1/4-1/2 inch on the top.
  4. Spread 1-2 heaping tablespoons of sauce over each loaf.
  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes**.
  6. Broil on high for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy these cute little loaves.

**I used the convection bake setting on my oven and baked the loaves for 35 minutes. Since convection can contribute to shorter cooking times, I extended the range of cooking time from 35-45 minutes because I realize not everyone has the convection option. Keep an eye on your loaves. Since they are in miniature sized versions, they don’t take too long to bake.

 

Of course I smothered my turkey loaf with even more sauce, but they don’t necessarily need more! Alongside the turkey we served grilled zucchini, mushrooms, and artichokes sprinkled with a touch of salt.

 

I went back for another loaf. This dinner was the bomb, like tick tick. LOVED IT. Please make these. They are perfect for kids too!

For dessert, this happened…

Dana made us up a batch of strawberry banana soft serve and it was just what I needed to end my night.

I am off to get a workout in as well as a couple of errands. Tonight I have plans with my girlies and I am pretty pumped about it! Catch you later gators. :wink: