Graze

My friend Katy has been testing out Plated and Stitch Fix and all these cool little companies. So when I got an invite to get my first box free with Graze, I was intrigued. First of all, each box is only like, $6 anyway, so I can see myself actually paying for this now and then. Second of all, you can choose how often you want boxes and even mark preferences for what you want in them. Last… #snacks. Who doesn’t love ALL OF THE DELICIOUS SNACKS?!

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I confess, I dove into my snacks before even bothering to take a photo…OOPS! But you get the picture. Healthy little treats delivered to your door. Happy Tuesday to me, indeed!

Want to try your first box free? Here’s my referral code – JNHRRN9HP. Don’t forget, you can cancel anytime. You can get yourself one free box and then quit. Or you can just skip boxes until you feel like getting one. All in all, it makes my heart and tummy very very happy!!

If you order it, let me know what you think…I’ve already loved the 1/2 box that I’ve eaten!

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DO IT! You know your taste buds want to…

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chili

It’s savory, I promise.

IMG_6928 My friend Jacob makes this chili regularly, and I loved it, so finally made him send me the recipe. Turns out, it is an adaptation of this Circleville Pumpkin Chili. AND IT’S AMAZING AND SO SO SAVORY. Do not let the pumpkin and the chocolate fool you…

So here we go with my adaptation of Jacob’s adaptation of the Circleville Pumpkin Chili recipe…This makes enough for really large crowd, so cut it in half if it’s just for you…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chili

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 chopped onion
2 lbs ground turkey (any meat, of course)
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp cumin
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground paprika
1 can pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 15-oz can tri-blend of beans, drained (so this is pinto, black, and kidney. but two cans of any beans will do. And of course, leave these out if you are paleo.)

Directions

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, then cook onion and garlic until translucent. Add meat and all spices, cooking and crumbling until meat is completely browned.

2. Add in pumpkin, cocoa powder, and tomatoes. Stir and reduce to simmer. Allow to simmer at least 20 minutes, but up to 90 will deliver the best flavor. Stir occasionally.

3. Stir in beans. Allow to simmer for 15 more minutes. Adjust seasoning, and serve.

To make in crockpot, I cooked the chili the night before without any of the simmering. I left it in the fridge overnight, and then turned it on high for an hour, and then low for the rest of the morning in the crock pot. It was ready for a potluck lunch. You could probably leave it on low or even keep warm all day if you wanted it hot when you got home from work.

This chili was a big hit at my office. Either that, or they were just being really nice. Regardless, I really loved it. It’s rich, hearty, and not as tomato-y as your normal chili. Definitely a fun way to switch it up!

Whole 30 Wrap Up {Round Two}

This Whole30 was different. I felt JUST as amazing, and even more quickly than last time. I think this is probably because since my last whole30, I’ve still enjoyed eating a lot of paleo meals, making the transition a little less painful this time around. However, I also got bored with it a lot sooner. It didn’t seem AS magical, probably because my memories of the first one were “I felt like a million bucks!!” which set the bar pretty darn high as far as my expectations went.

I also, admittedly, sort of stopped a few days early. I know, I know…it’s not a TRUE Whole30. But I really felt ready. I feel empowered to make good decisions. I didn’t binge when I stopped. Actually, the thing I’ve been craving the most was popcorn, and I’ve had a LOT of popcorn in the last few days. I’ve also laid out a fitness plan to get me through the next few months, since I do a lot better once it’s all mapped out ahead of me.

My primary goal with this Whole30 was to TRULY make a lifestyle change. As a lot of people like to say, an 80/20 paleo lifestyle. To me, this means choosing paleo meals 80% of the time, and occasionally working in something like popcorn, wine, a piece of pizza, or some cheese. And the biggest challenge in this, for me, is to not make it a big deal in my head. Like, I’m choosing salad instead of a sandwich: no biggie! I’m skipping fries tonight: no biggie! The no biggie mindset will be a huge accomplishment for me.

A few of my favorite new recipes from this time around include:

Mexican Cauliflower Rice

Turkey Meatballs and Crock Pot Marinara

Deviled Eggs & Bacon Wrapped Pineapple

Salmon Cakes

A Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot

Have you done a second Whole30? How did you feel?

Cinnamon Honey Pecans

honey pecans

I’ve wrapped up my Whole30, perhaps a few days early, but I feel as great as I did after the first one. And now that it’s officially over, I’m thinking about how I want to continue many of the lifestyle changes that the Whole30 encourages. A few things I’m sure I’ll add back in before long include: wine (only occasionally, of course, but it has been missed), popcorn (I can’t explain why, but I’ve been craving it so much!), and then the occasional very-non-paleo splurge.

But for now, mostly trying to stick in the paleo world, particularly when it comes to grains and processed sugars. When I found a 6 ounce bag of pecans in the pantry this weekend, I decided to make a little healthy sweet treat. I MIGHT have burned these guys a little, but they are still tasty. Don’t burn them!

Cinnamon Honey Pecans

Ingredients

1 tablespoon egg whites
a splash of water (about 1 teaspoon)
6 oz pecans
1/4 cup honey (just a little less than full)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment or a silipat liner.

2. Combine water and egg white in a bowl. Whisk for a minute or so until it gets a bit frothy. Stir in pecans.

3. Combine honey, cinnamon, and salt in a plastic measuring cup. Add to pecans and stir well.

4. Spread the pecans out on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes.

Again, make sure you don’t burn them like I did! once they come out of the oven, put them in a glass baking dish to cool off. Be sure to wash the baking sheet and liner as soon as possible so you don’t end up with a honey-glue mess.

Enjoy your treat!

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”

Probably one of my favorite paleo side dishes yet. Served with some seasoned chicken and veggies, this cauliflower truly satisfied my itch for some comfort Mexican food.

mexican cauliflower rice

I adapted the recipe from the Paleo Cupboard, and really changed very little. Here’s how to do it!

Ingredients

1 large head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil or other fat
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
salt
pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tomato, diced
1/2 small can of tomato paste
cilantro

Directions

1. Using a grater or food processor, rice the cauliflower into tiny pieces.

2. Heat a very large skillet over medium heat. Add oil, let it get warm. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Saute until they begin to become translucent.

3. Add cauliflower, season with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Stir frequently as cauliflower begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomato, tomato paste, and a fair amount of cilantro.

4. Cook for a few more minutes, and then taste for seasoning. Serve with more cilantro and a few fresh squeezes of lime. Enjoy!

Panera’s Hidden Menu

I don’t think it’s as much of a secret these days, but Panera has a hidden menu. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve learned not to ask questions of a good thing.

I love eating at Panera, because even though it can get a little pricey, there are many pretty healthy options on the menu. You can customize your salad. You can get an apple. You can do just about anything you want. But even this girl, a lover-of-Panera-for-life, can get sick of making the same choices over and over.

So in comes the hidden menu. For the record, there are more items than are even listed here. I’m pretty sure you can order any of their fancy salads from other seasons – like the fuji apple turkey salad – from the “hidden menu.” I tried the Steak Lettuce Wraps – they were so-so. So far my favorite is the Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Salad:

Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Salad

I ordered this the other day, and it seriously, actually looks like this. It even came with little packets of olive oil to drizzle on yourself. IT WAS SO YUMMY.

I also ordered the Egg Bowl with Steak during my last Whole30, and while it worked for an on-the-go breakfast, it was NOT as pretty as the online photo…

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But hey, at least there are options out there! Most places, there are nearly no options that are grain and dairy free. So cheers to healthy eating on the go!

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups

I could eat hard boiled eggs for breakfast everyday and never get sick of them. Seriously. But I know it never hurts to switch things up a little bit. I have made a lot of egg cups in the past – usually with some combination of veggies and meat. They make a perfect microwaveable, quick weekday breakfast. Plus my hubby really likes them, which is a win. This week, I’ll be eating these with a little side of diced, roasted sweet potatoes and a piece of fruit. Protein, fat, and carbs for breakfast, people! It’s what will get you through to lunch!

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups

 

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups

Ingredients

8 eggs
1/4 cup buffalo sauce
salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (really any combo of spices you like in your eggs)
one large chicken breast, cooked and shredded (about 5-6 oz)
3 green onions

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12 muffin tins with nonstick spray

2. Whisk together eggs, sauce, and seasonings in a large bowl. Pour evenly into the 12 muffin tins.

3. Divvy up the chicken and onions among the muffin tins.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they appear set. Allow to cool, remove from muffin tins, and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to reheat and eat.

Enjoy! And eat your breakfast!!