Parenthood Series Finale

I am so sad to say goodbye to the Bravermans tonight. In my opinion, Parenthood is one of the best shows of all-time. No other show EVER has made me laugh AND cry in just about every episode. Anyone who watches this show wishes they were a part of this family, even though they have had more than their fair share of tragedy and sadness. And after tonight’s show, it will be over. SAD FACE.

If you don’t watch this show, I cannot stress enough how strongly I feel that you need to go binge watch it right away. While I’m not sure that any family has covered this huge spectrum of circumstances (think: aspergers, cancer, infertility, adoption, divorce, single-parenthood, drugs, alcohol, accidental pregnancies, business failures, you name it…), I feel that everyone can related to the emotions, the joys and the hurts, that come along in this life.

Watch it. Love it. Tell me what you think. Let’s talk about it.

Shepherd’s Pie {Paleo Recipe Review}

I made this recipe the other night, and I LOVED IT, but it did not turn out very pretty, soooooo here is a lovely photo from One Lovely Life… Cottage Pie // One Lovely Life

Because I totally am borrowing this photo, as well as their recipe, I’m just going to tell you a few tweaks I made for my own version.

1. I made mashed cauliflower for the topping instead of mashed potatoes. I know potatoes are okay to have now, but the hubs and I really really love mashed cauliflower, and it’s a little easier to make. It probably didn’t stand up as well against the juices of the filling as a potato topper might have, but hey, it doesn’t have to be pretty to taste good!

2. I used ground turkey. Lamb’s expensive, and this family is on a BUDGET. Therefore, I also used chicken stock since I already had it on hand.

3. I also used the vegetables I had on hand. Instead of chopping carrots, I used a mixture of frozen peas and carrots. So I ended up putting in an onion, celery, and then frozen peas and carrots for my veggies. Works for me!

And just to humor you, here is the photo of how mine REALLY looked…This is REAL LIFE, folks…

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Half Way {Whole30}

As I may have mentioned, during this Whole30 I’m trying to pay less attention to the actual number of days. While I don’t think it’s realistic for almost anyone to maintain this sort of lifestyle, there are parts of it that I want to do a better job incorporating to my life moving forward than I did last time. I’m literally mentally making myself think, “No big deal. Ain’t no thang. AIN’T. NO. THANG.” And truly, it hasn’t been a big deal, save one or two times I might have really enjoyed a glass of wine or some popcorn.

But I realized today is Day 15, so I’m giving myself a little mental high five. Feeling good! Feeling rested. Feeling proud of my choices. Feeling probably about 5 lbs lighter. Feeling focused on more important things than food. But if you’re thinking about food, check out my Recipe Box for some new ideas.

The new recipes I’ve posted about this Whole30…

A sportsy weekend indeed

This weekend was full of fun sporting events. With the weather being cold and dreary, it felt extra great to have lots of fun plans!!

The NHL All Star Game was in Columbus this year – how perfect!! While we did not go to the game itself, we did go to the expo Friday night. This included meeting & and getting an autograph from Predator’s rookie Filip Forsberg, a quick picture with Gnash, and of course a photo-opp with the Stanley Cup. Next year, this all takes place in Nashville, and YES I’ve already promised the hubby that we will go. (Side note: Hubby is a HUGE Nashville Predators fan.)

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The National Championship Celebration at the Shoe. I mean, when you win an undisputed national title and all that, there is bound to be a celebration. Since I work with the Alumni Association at Ohio State, the hubs and I got to sit with a few other staffers and Archie Griffin up in the Alumni Association suite. It was SO COLD OUT so honestly, we probably wouldn’t have gone if not for the suite. But we went! And this guy got to meet THAT GUY.

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Indiana vs. Ohio State Basketball. I actually didn’t think Ohio State would win this one – at least not by much – but they pulled it off. Again, we got to go through my work, and sit at the club level of the Schottenstein (which has as pretty darn good food selection, I might add).

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All in all, a fun, busy weekend!

Salmon Cakes {Paleo}

I’m going to be honest with you. Usually by the time I’ve finished making dinner, I’m SO hungry that I really don’t bother to take NICE photos, like I did in the good ol’ days. This is the reason that many photos on my blog are just quick iPhone shots. It’s a shame really. I should make more of an effort in the photo arena, but hey, just because they aren’t pretty doesn’t mean they don’t taste good!

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On that note, I bring you salmon cakes. You could make them crab cakes, or tuna cakes, or whatever kind of seafoody cake you enjoy. I haven’t done the math, but I’m going to guess these cost probably $3 for the whole batch, too. A 6 oz can of salmon is like, $2, and everything else in it is pretty simplistic. I don’t keep a lot of fresh herbs on hand in the winter, so I use dried ones in recipes like this.

This recipe comes from Livin the Crunchy Life with just a few minor adjustments. So I give you…my version!

Salmon Cakes

Ingredients

6 oz can pink salmon
1/4 avocado
2 tablespoons onion, finely diced (I used red onion, but whatever)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
dash of dried parsley
squirt of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Mash all these ingredients together very well, until you get a relatively smooth mixture. Taste it for seasoning, and doctor it up with anything you want.

2. Form cakes. I made 11 very small ones, which I liked, but you could also make a few larger ones if that’s how you role. Place them on a baking sheet or platter and put them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I actually made mine the night before so that I could make dinner more quickly, so mine sat 24 hours in fridge, no problem.

3. Heat a small amount of olive oil, ghee, or even coconut oil in a skillet. In two batches, place the cakes in the hot skillet until the bottom is nice and crispy. Don’t try turning them too soon or they will fall apart! Once it seems like you can get your spatula under them pretty easily, give them a flip, and keep cooking until they’ve got a nice crispy edge on them.

I really loved eating mine with guacamole, but you could do anything, including paleo mayo or a plethora of other amazing paleo dips and sauces.

Bell Pepper Red Sauce {Crockpot} + Turkey Zucchini Meatballs

Double recipe for you here today!! Bell Pepper Red Sauce and Turkey Zucchini Meatballs, all served over a lovely spaghetti squash!

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First, let me just say that I adapted this recipe to make some much improved turkey meatballs. The zucchini adds SO much more moisture, so they aren’t dry and blah like many of the other meatballs I’ve made. Here’s what I combined to make my meatballs:

1 lb lean turkey
1 small zucchini, grated
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
3 green onions, sliced
salt, pepper, and a little cumin

DELICIOUS. Do it.

And now for the sauce. Here, you let everything roast in the crockpot all day (well, 5 hours on low, 3 on high), and then use your immersion blender to make it smooth and delicious, but you could also probably use a regular blender or a food processor if that’s what you’ve got. (Got it from over here on Paleo Pot!) My husband also added a solid amount of hot sauce. Be warned though – this makes A LOT of sauce. I happily put some in my freezer though so I won’t have to do much of anything next time we’re in a spaghetti squash mood.

I used:

4 cans of diced tomatoes (some with added seasonings, some without)
3 bell peppers (2 green, one red), seeded and cut up
1 onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper, and italian seasoning.

Truly, so easy. You can cut everything very chunky since you’ll be using your immersion blender later. Combine them all, let them cook, and blend them up!!

Please share if you have some of your own favorite versions of spaghetti and meatballs!