What’s On Your Menu?

 

 

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Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Soup w/ scallions and bacon

Majority of the time, Sunday’s are dedicated to food shopping, meal prepping and getting ready for the week. Yesterday was no exception.

What usually happens is, I go through the store circulars, store coupons and manufacturer coupons and plan our meals based on the deals of the week. I’m on a budget! “Look babe! Turkey is 99 cents per pound. Are you good with turkey this week?” “Yea, anything is good,” says my husband.

Yesterday was not one of those days…

$178.00 later: 2 lbs ground turkey, chicken breast, fresh salmon, shrimp, fruits, cauliflower, sweet potato, mozzarella cheese, eggs, almonds, strawberries, apples etc…. And my small list became this ginormous list and I was overwhelmed by the cost but the food was already scanned and bagged and the next thing I know, I am home prepping 1,000 things I had not planned on.

I stumbled upon Peas & Crayons Slow Cooker Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Soup recipe and had to give it a try. If any parents are reading this and have trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies, this is a good one. The sweet potato overpowers the cauliflower taste.

This recipe also gave me an excuse to purchase an immersion blender  and I am in love. It is way better than a handheld mixer that you use for baking… I dread using those things because most of the food ends up on the walls.

Yields: 16 cups (8oz) and freezes well!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Sweet Potato (Approx 2 large potatoes)- peeled and cubed
  • 2 pounds fresh head of cauliflower- roughly chopped
  • Original recipe calls for 1 quart veggie broth, I used chicken broth for extra flavor
  • 1 large onion-diced
  • 5 cloves garlic peeled. I minced my garlic
  • 4 stalks scallion- chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme- I did not have this so I used oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (more if you really like a kick)
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste- My hubby said it was enough salt. I had to add more to my soup
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2oz. cream cheese

Directions:

  • Put everything into your crock pot except for milk and cream cheese. Set on high for 4-5 hours or until veggies are fork tender (took mine 4 hours)
  • Once tender, turn slow cooker off, add milk and cream cheese and blend using an immersion blender.
  • I topped our soups off with crumbled bacon, scallions and shredded cheese.

Stay tuned for a Caprese meatball recipe. So good!

XOXO,

Rachel

 

 

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Cheat Clean Pizza

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This pizza is awesome and so is my Pusheen cat eating pizza shirt

You are so lucky that I am not greedy when it comes to sharing food or I would have never provided this gem of a product to you. It’s called Real Good Pizza and it’s delivered straight to your door.

Christmas came early this year and all of Santa’s Little Helpers are putting together these little, beautiful, tasty pizzas to drop at your front door. Just because you’ve eaten bad here and there doesn’t mean you’ll get a lump of coal this year. Santa actually wants to help you reach your goal while enjoying guilt free, gluten free, grain free pizza.

Whoever created this is like the Steve Jobs of pizza or wait, the Mozart of pizza, ok last one, the Picasso of Pizza (ba dum tss!)

These 5” pizzas are packed with 25g of protein and only 4g net carbs. This is a low carbers dream! Three styles available for purchase: Pepperoni, Supreme, and Three Cheese 

Shipping is free and usually arrives within 2-3 business days and if you use code Rachel , you will get an additional 10% off your order.

Prep is easy as well- either microwave or oven and it has such a fresh taste. I served it along side a salad and was totally satisfied. My Husband is a huge evening snacker but he was so happy with this dinner that he didn’t reach for a snack last night. This is the definition of #cheatclean

One more thought before I go-

Pizza is life!

XOXO,

Rachel

Crock pot comfort soup

I love stews, soups, and meat and potatoes… Guess that’s the Russian in me, huh?

It’s almost October and while the days are still warm the nights are getting cooler. I love fall weather, fall outfits, decorations, tea and coffee… Call me a Basic Bitch but I don’t care!

The crock pot gets used here and there throughout the warmer months but it really takes real estate on the kitchen table during the colder months. I am a huge fan of soup. I could eat it breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s filling, easy to make, low cal/low carb and comforting. I made a huge batch Sunday night and having it for lunch every day this week.

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I got a little over zealous with the black pepper yesterday

1.5cup per serving

Ingredients:

  • 2 large onions-diced
  • 2 large celery stalks-diced
  • 2 large carrots-diced *In our house, the more carrots the better. Especially because our dog loves boiled carrots. Most of the time, I empty a small bag of baby carrots in the soup and scoop a bunch out for Mr.Marty Party Pants
  • 4 slices cooked bacon diced (do not get rid of bacon drippings)…If you prefer sausage, I bet some crumbled sausage would be good
  • 1 TSP Salt and pepper (or more to taste)
  • Italian seasoning to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth (I used College Inn)
  • 1 LB boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into itty bitty pieces
  • 2 Cups fresh spinach
  • *Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  • Cook bacon
  • While bacon is cooking, chop up onions, carrots and celery
  • Chop up chicken and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
  • Remove bacon from pan and cook chicken in drippings (add oil or butter if needed) until chicken is browned
  • Remove chicken and saute veggies for about 5-10 min then add one cup of the chicken broth and cook for another 5 minutes, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits
  • Add chicken, veggies, bacon and remaining broth to crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours
  • After 3 hours, add spinach and stir till wilted

The end!

XOXO,

Rachel

Updates-Taco Tuesday Recipe-Music

Hi All,

Can’t believe it’s already September! Speaking of which….Why are Halloween decorations already for sale? No, wait, why are THANKSGIVING decorations already for sale?

Stop- slow down…smell the roses! Time is flying by so fast… everybody needs to relax.

My Husband and I completed our second mud run- Warrior Dash … what can I say, we love getting down and dirty.

We wanted to get one more trip in before the end of the year so we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Prague!

This past weekend my two other blog-mates and I got to stand along side our friend and watched her marry the love of her life.

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I discovered a delicious taco bake recipe that I would like to share with all of you! I am in love with this recipe for several reasons: It’s versatile (can add/swap ingredients), make a big batch to last all week or to freeze, it’s low carb, easy and quick to cook.

Taco bake recipe found here *I did make some changes to fit my needs so check out the original if you do not wish to follow mine

Ingredients

Crust

  • 4oz of cream cheese softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 8oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used taco blend- that’s what I had on hand)

Topping

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I did not have this on hand so I used marinara and tasted just fine!)
  • 4oz chopped green chilies
  • 4oz shredded cheddar cheese (I used taco blend)

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Beat cream cheese and eggs until smooth
  • Add whipping cream and seasoning- blend well
  • Grease a 9 x 13 pan
  • Spread shredded cheese evenly throughout the bottom of the pan and slowly and evenly pour egg/cream cheese mixture on top
  • Bake for approx 30 min
  • While your crust is baking, cook the beef until brown.
  • Drain fat
  • Stir in chilies, taco seasoning and tomato sauce
  • Once crust is cooked, remove from oven and let it sit for 5 min. Then spread meat mixture over crust, top with additional shredded cheese.
  • Lower oven temp to 350F
  • Bake for another 20 min or until bubbly. I like my cheese more burnt so I baked for approx 30 min.

Additional topping ideas:

  • Salsa, guacamole, sour cream, scallions.

I divided the pan into 8 squares- one square for lunch each day this week and some left over slices for Hubby to enjoy with a side of brown rice and salad.

Sooooo… some music for ya. I have to listen to people all day long and sometimes, I just love the silence. Don’t we all? But, I don’t like to work out in silence… that’s just boring. I have found a happy medium for anyone in the same predicament.

Instrumental music! Don’t sigh at me. Give it a chance… here is some of the music I’ve been listening to:

Lindsey Stirling- Swag

Lindsey Stirling- The Arena

Lindsey Stirling- First light

Audiomachine- Legions of Doom

Jorge Quintero- 300 Violin Orchestra

London Music Works- Requiem For a Tower

Roberto Concina Escala Chris Elliot- Children

I have some more recipes for you but I will be posting in the days to come. Let me know if you like this music, I can give you all some more ideas.

Xoxo,

Rachel

 

Life and….Cauliflower Fried Rice

I want to apologize for not being around lately. I’ve been super busy with family gatherings, work out/training, work… life in general!

Around 9:30 last night, I said to my husband, “I haven’t sat down yet and it’s almost time for bed.” That is mentally draining for me. I need some time to decompress or else I get anxious and impatient. Definitely the opposite of my usual bubbly self.

I didn’t get to meal prep this weekend (so sad) but Serge and I did accomplish one thing that’s been tearing at my soul: Spring cleaning!

We got rid of so much crap. I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders and even though the scale hasn’t moved down, I feel like I’ve dropped a ton of weight by getting rid of “things”.

Thanks for listening to my mini rant. I’ll get to the good stuff now.

My Mama and I go nuts over cauliflower, especially when they are so crispy right out of the oven! My Grandma recently nailed the whole cauliflower pizza thing (thanks Grandma for keeping the pizza dream alive!)…So you could say that cauliflower is sort of a big deal. I mean how can it not be a big deal? You can make rice, pizza, mashed “potato”, buffalo cauliflower bites, etc… etc…

So, making cauliflower rice isn’t hard. It’s just time consuming and you need to clean all the gadgets and stuff you use to make the rice. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Thanks to Green Giant and Target for making my life so much easier.

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Image taken from Green Giant (click link to see product info)

The only thing I got to make in advance this week was chicken cutlets… easy enough… fry them or bake them and you’re set.

People at work have been eating Chinese food this week and Serge ate Chinese food this weekend. It’s haunting me. I made cauliflower fried rice and thinly sliced a chicken cutlet on top.

I’m sure if you search the web you’ll find tons of recipes but I had zero patience and energy to do my research so I took my chances and did my own thing. Came out pretty awesome. Only problem is, I don’t have measurements for you.

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So heavenly looking… like it could almost be hash browns… mmm hash browns and eggs…  you’re welcome. another idea for ya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Bag of cauliflower rice
  • diced veggies (I used onions, garlic, mushrooms and scallions)
  • One egg
  • Protein of choice (I used chicken cutlets… you can do shrimp, tofu, beef, pork etc)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • EVOO
  • Soy Sauce
  • Optional *Hot sauce/ red pepper flakes

Directions:

  • Heat EVOO on skillet
  • Sautee veggies of choice
  • Cook cauliflower rice as directed on bag while veggies are cooking
  • Dump “rice” onto skillet
  • Add seasonings to taste
  • When cauliflower is cooked (I like mine extra crispy), crack an egg on top and mix all together
  • Add protein of choice

Yummy yummy yummy! This is my lunch for the next two days. I get to eat mock Chinese food without the extra calories and carbs and bathroom attacks (was that TMI? well, I don’t care… I know you all suffer from stomach issues after Chinese. WE ALL DO!)

 

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Make ahead Chicken and Quinoa Stew

A few things before we get started on this DELICIOUS recipe.

  • This is a make ahead recipe. YAY! Do it on Sunday and it should last a minimum of 4 meals. So, you either got dinner covered Monday through Thursday or your lunches covered… However you decide to split this meal up, you end up with some free time on your hands 🙂
  • Healthy- you get protein/grains from quinoa and brown rice, protein from chicken, you get veggies and cheese and poblano peppers and tomatoes. EEEEE!!!! So good.
  • This recipe was adapted from the Cooking Light April 2016 issue. They called it King Ranch Chicken and Quinoa Casserole. My husband and I both agreed that it tasted more like a stew.
  • Final point- the pictures do it no justice. Stews always look like a mish mosh of stuff. But stews are usually so delicious. So here ya go!
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Stew/Casserole cheese laying situation happening here
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Crispy quinoa and brown rice final layer
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Final layer of cheese

1.5 cups per serving about 4 servings in this dish

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of rotisserie chicken chopped/shredded or homemade shredded chicken
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or brown rice
  • 5 tbls EVOO
  • 3 poblano peppers chopped and seeded
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tbsl minced garlic
  • 2 tbls all purpose flour
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1- 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1- 4 ounce can of mild chopped green chiles
  • 3.5 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8inch square baking dish
  • Optional: chopped scallions on top

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Mix 1 tbls EVOO with cooked quinoa and spread across baking sheet and bake for 10-15 min (this step is really optional… it just gives a crispiness to the quinoa). We also used a quinoa/brown rice blend because that’s all we had on hand and it came out delicious… so if you don’t have quinoa, think about substituting it with brown rice.
  • Heat a dutch oven with olive oil, add poblano peppers, onion and garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes.
  • Stir flour, cumin, chili powder. Then add stock, tomatoes, and green chiles. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in chicken.
  • Pour half the mixture at the bottom of the dish, top with half quinoa/brown rice and add 2 ounces of cheese. Repeat layers once more.
  • Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes

I seriously wanted to eat the entire thing in one sitting. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.

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Firecracker Salmon

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I didn’t have much time to prep food for the week because we came home super late on Sunday from our weekend getaway. We are meeting with our trainer tomorrow night and after a training sesh, we are both exhausted and HUNGRY and need food right away!

The food God’s have graced me with their presence and have provided me with all ingredients to make the perfect Firecracker Salmon.

This is good for 2 Salmon Filet:

  • 2 Salmon filet- fresh or frozen (I have frozen. I will defrost and marinade them)
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbls brown sugar
  • I don’t even have a measurement of scallions for you. We love scallions so we chop a crazy amount into our dishes. So the amount of scallions are up to you!
  • 4 tbls Soy Sauce we use the lower sodium kind
  • 1 tbls red pepper flakes (less if you aren’t into too much heat)
  • 1/2 cup evoo
  • 4 tbls balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground/minced ginger… My husband likes the ginger slices they give with the sushi so we always have that on hand. I just drop slices of that into the dish
  • Fresh ground pepper and a pinch of salt (seriously, just a pinch… you’re getting enough salt from the soy sauce)

There is enough of this marinade to throw in veggies too… Like, mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, onions.. mm mm mm!!!

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together and let fish marinade for min 2hr-24hrs (longer the better)
  • Oil the griddle pan. Place on high heat.
  • When the pan is hot enough, turn the heat down to medium-high and place filet on the griddle.
  • We cooked the filet about 5-6 min each side.

**We used a griddle pan for this. I am sure you can bake it or pan fry it but I have not tried it like that yet.**

Disclaimer:

This recipe is approved by my Husband. I have yet to join the fish lovers world.

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