Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Carbs have been my best friend for the past week and a half. There’s a recipe that I’ve had ‘pinned’ for the past few years that I FINALLY got to try out at the beginning of the week. It’s Enchilada Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Against All Grain. I used shredded chicken instead of ground beef.

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Enchilada Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

 

I cooked this Monday night, but didn’t have any until Tuesday mid-morning so I threw an egg on it, wrapped it up, and packed the sour cream, salsa and guac separately so I could take it to go!

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Not pretty, but delicious :p 

This was a great meal and I’ll probably make it again next month. What’s crazy is that I had no problems while cutting the poblano peppers. I sliced them, washed my hands and all was well. I cooked the chicken, peppers and sauce in a slow cooker and problems did not arise until I was washing out the slow cooker. I filled the slow cooker with water, and then dipped my hand in to scrub the sides and all that. It was several minutes after I had washed the pot that I realized that my hands were burning!!! My fingers and sides of my hands were red and felt hot. I washed my hands with dish soap several times, threw olive oil on, and did all the things Google told me to do. Good times. Now I know not to stick my hands in poblano water.

 

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Smothered Chicken with “Rice”

Last night’s dinner was inspired by this recipe from Just A Pinch. I acquired a homemade batch of cream of mushroom soup from a local market and wanted to somehow incorporate chicken. I used Pinterest to search for “cream of mushroom with chicken” and the aforementioned recipe looked like the perfect meal! I just baked the chicken thighs the way I usually do (season with the basics– salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, oregano) and bake between 375-400 degrees F depending on how much time I have). When the chicken was close to being finished I cooked a bag of frozen rice cauliflower and warmed up the soup. Then I combined all three!

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Riced Cauliflower

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Riced Cauliflower with Baked Chicken Thighs

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The Final Result!!

As you can imagine, this was an extremely filling meal. So filling that my husband and I both had a wee bit leftover in our bowls. Our leftovers combined is enough for one small lunch 😀

Oh and yesterday I threw this deliciousness together for my nanny family:

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Baking skinless chicken breasts wasn’t an easy task for me, as I typically am accustomed to skin-on chicken, but apparently they turned out ok! I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, and paprika. I don’t cook for them regularly, but once in a while I voluntarily throw stuff together if I have the time.

Shake ‘N’ Bake Pork Chops

Recipe via Primal Palate! The recipe can be found here.

Their website is full of many gems.

So here’s how this all went down– we’re going to go way, way, back. I subscribe to emails from Flo Living, thanks to my sister-in-law referring me to their site after talks of wanting to balance my hormones, and in April they sent out an email about PCOS and Endometriosis. I read the email and clicked on the link provided to learn how to avoid ovarian cysts because OUCH who wants those?! On the webpage there are three steps that can be taken and one of them is to make sure that we are getting the right micro-nutrients to break down estrogen.

HORMONES AND FOOD: 4 FOODS TO GET RID OF YOUR SYMPTOMS IN 4 WEEKS!

It is a great post and provides of list of veggies to eat in order to achieve a normal cycle. I think there is an entire list of food from every group but you have to pay for the program or maybe buy a book.  I don’t know. Since I follow the primal lifestyle already my body is mostly there, but not quite. I have very mild PCOS symptoms, and I think that the fact that they’re only mild can be attributed to my mostly whole foods diet and lack of processed sugars and grains (though every so often….you just gotta eat some Oreos haha). I used to have more severe symptoms up till I was 23, which is when I began eating grain-free.

Last week I began working on a personal meal plan because why the f would I pay for a list of food created by someone else when I am fully capable of figuring out a plan for myself? At first I was sticking random meals all over the place and then I remembered the whole eating with my cycle thing and that helped me organize the meals! In my current phase I need to be eating cauliflower, daikon, parsnip, collard greens, onions, squash and sweet potatoes. I did my grocery shopping a few days ago and purchased these veggies.

Now about last night’s dinner….

I bought a thing of collard greens and last night I had to look up how to cook them. I’ve never done it before!  I found a simple recipe from Martha Steward–Sauteed Collard Greens with Garlic.

Also, I have never cooked pork chops. When we have them for dinner, my husband cooks them and he makes them peeeeerfect. Even if he showed me how he does it, I would not be able to replicate it. It’s like when I made a salad vs when he makes a salad. We use the same stuff but he’s got this magic touch that makes it amazing. Anyway when I searched for recipes via Pinterest all I was finding was glazed recipes– maple, balsamic, honey….every type of glaze you can imagine. I don’t need my pork chops sweet. I finally used Google and typed Primal Palate Pork Chops and opened another page typing PaleOMG Pork Chops.Obviously we know I went with one of Primal Palate’s results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It doesn’t look like much….because it isn’t lol I should have purchased a few more bunches!!

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Mmmmm

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And here is the final product! The meat-to-veggie ratio is horrendous, that’s my fault. Now I know that I need to buy a lot more collard greens in order to make a heaping pile.

It was a fantastic meal that I will definitely make again in the future! It requires simple ingredients, it was a simple process and it was delicious. My only regret is that we didn’t have more collards because they were garlicky good!

 

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I recently made Philly Cheesesteak stuffed peppers for dinner with the random ingredients that I had. I cut and boiled the bell peppers, sauteed the mushrooms and onions, I did my best to cut the steak into thin strips (totally failed at that) and made two pieces of cheese fit across the four pepper slices. Also, I do not have a dish that can be used under the broiler, so I couldn’t get the cheese brown and bubbly.

Basically this meal was edible. It tasted fine but it wasn’t as amazing as it should’ve been. Next time I’ll put some more effort into it so it looks as appetizing as it does here.

Breakfast: Shakshuka

Earlier in the week a Facebook friend {funny how we have actual friends and ‘Facebook friends’ right?? Such an interesting classification. Like she and I aren’t friends in that we hang out being that we’ve never seen each other outside of a certain environment, but we definitely have a relationship of sorts. Her daughter was in my class last year when I was a preschool teacher. My co-teacher/friend [she’s my husband’s best friend’s now wife] and I always thought she was really cool for several reasons so it’s cool being fb friends now.} tagged me in a BuzzFeed post: 17 Paleo Breakfasts That Are Actually Delicious (like, what paleo breakfast isn’t delicious? Just because it’s not cereal, oatmeal, bagels or toast it’s going to suck? lol) and I gravitated toward the egg dishes because scrambled eggs and fried eggs get boring real quick. Shakshuka looked particularly intriguing. I am not fully acquainted with Middle Eastern food so this dish is completely new to me. When I went grocery shopping this week I made sure to grab whatever extra ingredients we needed for shakshuka. We basically had everything except we were out of paprika and we do not always have bell peppers on hand (we usually have those little sweet peppers for salads).  So here’s how it went this morning::

wp-1455980095192.jpgI gathered the necessary ingredients and chopped up what needed to be chopped (onions not pictured here).

wp-1455980094862.jpgI sauteed the onion and garlic.

wp-1455980094499.jpgI realized that I should’ve added the ‘shrooms with the onions because I liked them thoroughly cooked and they take as long as onions to get where I need them to be for my personal preference. After the onions and mushrooms softened enough I added the green pepper.

wp-1455980093685.jpgNext are the tomatoes!! For any recipe requiring diced tomatoes, I will forever use canned diced tomatoes. Depending on the recipe I will often go for fire roasted tomatoes because they have such an awesome flavor.

 

wp-1455980093317.jpgThe tomato paste is supposed to thicken up the sauce but the canned tomatoes had so much liquid that I let the mixture reduce a bit before I added the paste.

 

wp-1455980092957.jpgI threw in the eggs!! Let’s take a moment to mourn the yolk that broke =(

wp-1455980092614.jpgFinished!!

wp-1455980092246.jpgI realized that I need to sprinkle some green stuff on it to make it look nice for photos….. (seriously, Google “shakshuka” and look at the results hahaha)

 

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Added in some bacon for extra protein and BAM! A perfect breakfast. I didn’t even realize it until my husband pointed it out, but this breakfast meal really was the perfect prerequisite for a beach day being that it is loaded with lycopene, which helps protect your skin from sun damage! Check out this post called 8 Natural Ways to Prevent a Sunburn (and Sunscreen’s Not One of Them).

 

*** I started cooking bacon first to get some grease going to use as the cooking oil instead of olive oil. I needed to add something heavy to handle the mimosas that will follow breakfast 😀

Steak Dinner

Thursday night my husband cooked up a simple steak dinner from a beautiful grass-feed sirloin that I acquired from our local health food store a few days prior.

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He simply seasoned it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

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Here we have caramelized onions, mushrooms and a few carrots because nothing goes better with a steak than caramelized veggies. I love the richness of it all!

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The finished result 👍

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I am a nanny so my work days are super awesome being that there’s always fun and adventures to be had locally.

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Yesterday I spent most of the day at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with my little dude! The three dolphins (two of which are movie stars ;)) were awesome (I looooooved watching Nicholas show us all that he’s learned at CMA) but the sea turtles were my absolute favorites to watch. I look forward to another visit at some point this year!

Lamb Meatballs + Kelp Noodles

A few weeks ago I went grocery shopping at our favorite local health food store while hungry and I bought kelp noodles! I had never heard of kelp noodles and I had no idea if they were any good but I read the ingredients and saw that they are simply kelp! I think reading “neutral taste” on the package also helped in my decision to purchase the bag of kelp noodles. I’m always looking at the “gluten free” noodles just in case they happen to be grain free as well!!

The package had been sitting in my pantry for quite some time, mainly because I haven’t made many dishes lately that are traditionally served with noodles/pasta. The other night we were in a bind for food so we went to one of the grocery stores down the road (our choice health food store is 20ish mins away from home) where we are really limited on protein. They have their healthy brand of meat (not organic, but all natural, hormone free, blah blah blah) and they have a grass-fed selection of beef and lamb. Sadly during this trip there were no grass-fed steaks, just ground beef. Neither of us were feeling ground beef so we went with ground lamb.

My default ground lamb recipe comes from Primal Palate. I usually throw an onion into the lamb mixture and I have never been able to find mint pesto, so I use traditional pesto. I got really excited to make these lamb meatballs over a plate of kelp NOODLES. My husband was apprehensive about the kelp so I only made enough for myself.

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David had his meal served over a bed of broccoli while I went all-in on the kelp noodles. They really don’t taste like anything so it’s a nice healthy noodle alternative (read about the benefits here). I’m so excited to use these in like Asian stir-fry and curry dishes! Oh, primal pad Thai is happening soon!! Notice how I do not plan on eating them in like raw salads, as seems to be popular among the vegan crowd (Google “kelp noodle recipes” and you’ll see what I mean). Room temperature kelp noodles just do not sound appealing.