I’m back. And I am officially 40.

Ladies and gents, I’m back in action once again. I sincerely apologize for my sporadic nature in posting recipes during the last several months…Life got the better of me!

One pretty amazing thing that happened was that I turned 40. Some people may not consider a birthday that big of a deal, but when I say this is ‘amazing’ it’s because  I am truly surprised that I actually made it 40 years.

I am 40. This is something that is peaceful and yet disruptive at the same time.

Peaceful:

  • I have decades of life experience that has molded me and will help mold me in the decades to come.
  • I feel comfortable in my own skin (most of the time, I have my days).
  • I’m in the best shape of my life. I have the best husband and family.
  • I know what I need to eat (and do in general) to feel the best I can. I have my habits pretty dialed in there.

Disruptive:

  • OMG I AM 40. What am I going to do with my life? What do I want to be when I grow up? Is this it? I know what I’m doing isn’t hitting me deep down, isn’t making much of a difference for me or the world as a whole. Does that matter? Or, does it matter that I earn an OK living and am supporting my family?
  • OMG I AM 40. How many years do I have left? Another 40? 10? 1? It’s somewhat disturbing to look at your own mortality…I know we shouldn’t, we should live life to the fullest and all that, but sometimes, thoughts creep into my head.
  • OMG I AM 40. I do NOT bounce back like I used to. I started feeling this way at 38, but for the most part, it takes me awhile to bounce back from a vacation, bad eating, not sleeping. It’s not good…but this is where the 1st bullet (above) comes in. Hind sight is 20/20.

All in all, life is good. I have a lot of life left in me and I know there are great things waiting for me in the future. I KNOW I am the ONE who has to make a plan and go out and get on it. I understand this.

I will do it. I just have to figure out what “it” is…I don’t want to spend my next decades figuring out if the path I went down is the right one.

On a food related note, here’s a link from PrimalPal that you should check out. Let us know what you think! Click here.

Have a great day – no matter what age you are. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Quinoa-Pumpkin Seed Granola

Ok, I am SUPER STOKED about this recipe. I have used this as a mix in greek yogurt, with milk (I can have decent cereal again!!!) and just plain as a treat. You can avoid nuts in this altogether and make it all seeds for anyone who has nut allergies. Seriously – enjoy, I will absolutely make this again.

I found the original recipe in the December 2012 issue of Better Homes & Gardens. I modified it a bit – wanted less nut and more seed. ENJOY!!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, or whole
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed (you can use whole, I just had the ground or meal)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup  honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup raisins or dried fruit of choice (watch the added sugar content in dried fruit, just FYI)

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine quinoa through sunflower seeds.  Mix well. In a small microwave safe dish heat honey on high power for 20 seconds. Stir in oil, cinnamon, and salt. Pour honey mixture over quinoa mixture; toss to coast. Spread in a baking dish in a thin layer.

Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring twice. Stir in dried fruit. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Spread out on foil, cool completely, breaking up any large pieces. Transfer to an airtight container. Store up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Makes 13 1/4 cup servings.

 

Lamb Casserole (AKA ‘Cleaning out the fridge’)

Hey there! I’m gearing up for my 4oth Bday – yes, I am going to be 40. I think I needed to type that to have it settle in a bit more. One thing that is helping this sting of age is my birthday adventure to Hawaii. Yes, I’ll be spending a week in the sun in one of my favorite places in the world….sigh…my life does NOT suck.

Anyway, that’s a long way of saying I needed to clean out my fridge. I meal planned again this week – and it rocked once again. I actually bought a big too much food, not taking into account leftovers. Oops. My girlfriend at work will be the lucky recipient of broccoli, red peppers, basil, thyme, and zucchini. What was I thinking?

Back to the goods. On Saturday night Dale and I roasted  a lamb…so good. We had roasted veggies as a side. You’ll see that a lot on my blog because they are easy and good. I flavor them up by using different oils to roast – grapeseed, walnut, olive, coconut, bacon fat…all are amazing, I LOVE coconut oil the best. Gives everything such a nummy flavor.

Anyway, had leftover lamb and decided to chop it up and use it in ‘pot pie’ type dish…it ended up more as a casserole, but whatever – bottom line, it’s good.

Basically – this is a great way to clean out your fridge – you can eat the meal immediately, or freeze it like I plan to so I can have a meal when we get back home (and therefore NOT freak out about having no dinner planned/made). Enjoy!

Lamb Leftovers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ingredients:

  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms (or use a veggie mix of your choice)
  • 3-4 cups of chicken broth
  • Xanthan gum or any thickener you like to use
  • Chopped fresh herbs – thyme, basil and Italian parsley
  • Chopped meat of choice, I had lamb that was stuffed w/garlic
  • 1 Chopped cooked rice/quinoa mix (optional, had it so used it)
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • bit of salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Started out with a bit of left over lamb juice – tossed that in a deep skillet, heated it up.
  2. Tossed in chopped onion, let that cook a bit.
  3. Tossed in broccoli and zucchini, let that cook a bit.
  4. Tossed in shrooms and added chicken broth, salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, turn to medium-low and let simmer a bit.
  6. Toss in your thickener, let that settle.
  7. Once all is heated through, add herbs, cooked meat and optional rice/quinoa mix. Mix together well.
  8. Heat that through, eat immediately, or, put in oven safe dish and toss in a the freezer or eat later in the week.
  9. To reheat – preheat oven to 375, toss in the goods and wait till bubbly…so nummy.

 

Caraway Pork Stew

I wasn’t exactly sure how this would turn out…I love caraway, but it’s an interesting spice I don’t have much experience with. I decided to throw caution to the wind and use it in this stew.

I was loving the crock pot this week – seriously – I cannot believe how convenient this tool is. Life is busy, this piece in the kitchen makes it a tad easier. This was a good “I’ve got to clean out the fridge” type of soup. Easy, flavorful, and even better the next day. ENJOY!!

  • 1 lb ground pork, cooked w/salt and pepper
  • 1 yam, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red or orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch of curly kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1.5 tsp ground caraway
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1-2 cans of water (depending on how thick or not you want this)
  • salt and pepper to taste

How To:

  1. Cook your meat with salt and pepper.
  2. Put all the other stuff in crock pot.
  3. Add cooked meat.
  4. Mix.
  5. Turn on 6-8 hours.
  6. Done.

Kale Pork Hash


I had a bunch of ground pork that I needed to use and planned on making meatballs – however, then I did a bunch of sh*t on the bar at the gym and my hands now look like ground pork…I decided handling meat with these hands wasn’t the brightest of ideas so instead made this. What I LOVED about this dish was the kale – should have doubled that (keep that in mind). This was even better the next day mixed with eggs for breakie. SO GOOD. ENJOY!

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  • Sautee fat of choice (I used olive oil)
  • One white onion, chopped
  • Two large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 lbs ground pork
  • 1 yam or sweet tater, peeled and shredded
  • 1-2 bunch kale, finely chopped, stems removed (I used the Dinosaur kale, holds up nicely). So, on the stems – my kale was young, so my stems weren’t that tough. I just chopped up with the rest of it and tossed in.
  • 1-2 shredded carrots – I had a MASSIVE carrot from my ACME bin, so I used one. I suggest two normal sized carrots. See pic.
  • ½ tsp pepper & 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Italian spice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste

How To:

  1. Heat up your sautee oil of choice and whip in your chopped onions and garlic. Cook on medium until fragrant.
  2. Toss in your ground pork, crumble, get it cooking.
  3. Once it’s heated up a bit, add your Italian spice, paprika and pepper. Mix and cook until about half way finished.
  4. Add your shredded carrot and tater, mix well together. You don’t really need to add extra ‘moisture’ because these two items will have some.
  5. Turn heat to medium/low, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes . Stir a couple times here to make sure pork gets cooked through.
  6. When carrot and tater start looking wilty (cooked), then add your kale, mix through and cook until a vibrant dark green.
  7. Give it another mix to make sure all is done, add a dash of paprika and salt/pepper & serve.

 

 

Jerked Pork Ribs

Apparently, this was the week of pork. I’ve made three different dishes and all turned out well.  I also love the crock pot – I get stuff ready the day or two before and then just pop it in the crock pot before I leave for work – it’s a a beautiful thing to walk into dinner already made after a 14 hour day.

IMG_2891 IMG_2893

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs Pork Ribs
  • 2 Cups beef broth
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1-2 medium russet taters cubed (totally optional – I just had them so used them)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • tsp ground cloves

Mix together all the spices and rub the pork ribs with the mix. Really rub it in all the meat, don’t just sprinkle.

Place 1/2 sliced onion and cubed taters on bottom, then the spiced ribs, then the onion. Pour the beef broth all around. Put cover on and go 6-8 hours.

This was tasty – Dale barely left me any. Geeze. ENJOY!!

Coconut Ginger Chicken with Roasted Broccoli

GingerChicken

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cooking fat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 can coconut milk, mixed (shake it in the can, you want the solids too)
  • 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt

How To: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together ground pepper, cumin, coriander, tumeric and salt. Set aside for later use.
  3. Using a hand blender or food processor, combine garlic, ginger and onion. Pulse until a chunky paste is formed.
  4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the fat of choice. Add the garlic paste from above. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, enough time to allow the mixture to golden slightly in color. Sprinkle in the spice mix from step one and stir well so that everything is evenly coated. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add your one can of coconut milk, mix together well. Turn off heat.
  6. Grab a greased baking dish. Place chicken breasts in dish, cover with red peppers, add coconut mixture. Make sure everything is well coated. Use lid or cover with foil.
  7. Place in oven at 425 for 20 minutes, uncover, then turn to 375 for another 15-20 or chicken is cooked through.

We had this over roasted broccoli and it was FABULOUS. Enjoy!

Note: you can also just cook everything in the one pan. After step three, add your chicken to the pan, sear on all sides. Then move on to step four. Enjoy!!