Delicious Sweet Potato Power Bowl

I love oatmeal but it doesn’t love me. At 2:30pm, I’m doubled over in pain. Oatmeal is also really great with brown sugar and butter. Which as we all know, isn’t that great for you. However half a baked sweet potato topped with warm blueberries, coconut and banana is heavenly.

Here’s how you make it:

Heat up an already baked sweet potato in a bowl.

Toss 1/2 cup of blueberries into a microwave safe glass or into a sauce pan – heat them up until they turn into a sauce. Feel free to squeeze a lemon wedge in them.

Top the potato with the blueberries, a teaspoon of coconut oil, tablespoon of almond butter, sliced banana, pecans, coconut, cinnamon and enjoy!

This is vegan, free of refined sugars, it’s grain free and is very satisfying and easy to make.

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Cooking Class: Easy Marinated Chicken

Okay – this one is for the busy ones out there, the meal preppers, the non-cooks and the single peeps. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated. This is a flat leaf parsley and garlic marinade that you can let sit for 1 hour or overnight. If you don’t know how to cook and need a starting point, this is for you.

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You can roast some baby potatoes, make a mixed green salad to go with and you’ve got yourself an easy dinner and lunch for the next day.

I use chicken thighs because they are the perfect portion and they are juicy. I think drumsticks would be great too. Scroll to the bottom to see step by step pics on how to make this. I forgot to snap a pic of the chicken on a baking sheet, it shouldn’t be crowded, about 1 inch space between pieces of chicken.

Easy Marinated Chicken, Serves 4

10 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 handful of flat leaf parsley

3 cloves of garlic

1-2 tsp of kosher salt

1-2 tbs olive oil

Marinade:

If you have a food processor- awesome. If not a knife and cutting board work fine. Put the 3 cloves of garlic in the food processor, pulse a few times, add the parsley, salt and olive oil, pulse until mixed nicely- small pieces, not a paste. Put the chicken in a ziplock baggie, or bowl, pour the mix over the chicken and mix well. Either cover and put in the fridge over night or let it sit for an hour or so.

Roasting:

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, pre-heat the oven to 375, put the chicken on a baking sheet, cook for 25 minutes, when it’s done, broil for a few seconds to get crispy on top.

Remove and serve with roasted potatoes and salad. If you serve with potatoes, start cooking them 25-30 minutes before you start roasting the chicken. Baked potatoes, button potatoes alway take about 45 min-1 hour to cook. If they are sliced or diced they can take 30 min to cook.

 

Eight chicken thighs, a handful of Italian flat leaf parsley, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tbs salt (I use Himalayan) and of course olive oil (not pictured)….

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Add the cloves to the food processor first…..pulse so they look diced….

Add the parsley, salt and olive oil…..pulse so it looks like this

Put the chicken in a bowl, container or bag and drizzle a little olive oil over it….

Add the parsley mix to the chicken……

Coat the chicken evenly with the mix and let sit for at least an hour but it can sit over night too….

Place evenly on a pan, 1″ apart, bake 25-30 min, put under the broiler to brown (eyeball it) and serve with roasted potatoes.

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My Attempt at Whole30 #2

I’m attempting to do my second Whole30. During my first Whole30 in the beginning of 2017 I realized that I totally emotionally eat. I was in denial. I thought emotional eating was eating sweets, like cookies, candy, or junk food like chips or cheese it’s – but no. Emotional eating can come in all shapes and sizes. For me, it’s portion control and meals throughout the day.

On tough days at work, I would drive home from work and think about how nice it would be to have garlic bread, a glass of wine, and eggplant parmesan. I learned that the Whole30 is very similar to the mindful eating exercise that I’ve done in a couple meditation retreats. The Whole30 for me brought this incredible awareness of where my food comes from or what’s in it and how I look at food.

I’m excited to pay attention to the thoughts that come up during this next journey. I’ll welcome any cravings that come up as my old friend and embrace them.

What’s helpful for me is to meal prep and recipe prep – there are days that I will come home from work hungry and if dinner isn’t planned, that is when food choices go out the window.

Meal prepping and planning is your best friend on a Whole30 — actually in general if you want to have healthy eating habits. I will meal prep for the next day after dinner and in the morning before work. I make enough dinner to have leftovers the next day for lunch and that seems to help. Here is a pic of the recipe prep I’ve done (ignore the spelling and hand writing) – I’ll refer to it every couple of days and go shopping once or twice a week.

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Pulled Pork Bulgogi

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I really hate leftovers but I also really like saving money and having food on hand after a busy day. I also like meal prepping. I made some pulled pork earlier in the week and had enough for another dinner but wanted to make something new and was feeling a bowl / Asian inspired meal. To turn a standard pulled pork into something else, I added another seasoning and made a sauce to go with it (this is a good trick if you’re cooking for yourself and maybe one other person). I have a lot of ladies who cook for themselves and often express the dilemma of cooking so much food for one person.

Pulled Pork Bulgogi

Chinese 5 Spice Pulled Pork

I’m refraining from measurements here, you can add the flavors to taste and it depends on how much pork you have left. We had ¾ of a pound left.

  • Pulled pork (leftovers)
  • Chinese 5 spice to taste
  • A dash Sesame Oil –only for flavor, use it sparingly.

Sweet and Sticky Sauce (adapted from Primal Palate) – Serves 4

  • ¾ Cup Coconut Aminos
  • 1/8 TSP Fish Sauce
  • 2 Cloves of Minced Garlic
  • 1/3 TSP Ground Ginger

Coconut Lime Cauli-Rice

  • Riced Cauliflower about 4 cups (I’m lazy and buy it already riced)
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 Lime
  • Handful Shredded Coconut
  • Himalayan Salt to taste

Toppings

  • 1 or 2 Chopped Green Onions
  • Sesame Seeds for topping
  • Kimchee
  • Chili Garlic Sauce for spice

Cooking time – 30 minutes

Start the sauce first, in a sauté pan, on medium – medium high heat, add ¾ cup of coconut aminos, the fish sauce, ginger, and garlic, let bubble, reduce the heat and stir so it doesn’t stick to the pan and let it reduce about 10-15 minutes. I was hungry and mine ended up reducing to ½ cup. I’m sure I could have left it on the burner longer. When done, pour the sauce into a container so you can pour or spoon it easily on your pork.

Using the left over pulled pork, I added a little bit of sesame oil and about ½ a teaspoon – 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice to some left over pulled pork. The pork roast I bought was about 2 lbs and I had about ¾ lbs left. Add the pork to the sauté pan used to cook the sauce and let it cook. The temperature should be medium-medium high. While it’s heating up, cook the cauliflower rice. Heat the pan to medium, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the sauce pan, add some unsweetened shredded coconut – watch it so it doesn’t burn, add the riced cauliflower, salt and stir, then add the juice of one lime. Cook the rice through.

Remove everything from the heat and plate, topping with the sauce followed by chopped green onions, red chili garlic sauce, sesame seeds and kimchee.

Enjoy!!

WTF Are These? Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownie Cookies. aka a Dream Come True.

After two margaritas and some tacos I decided it was time to bake cookies.

I’m not down with grains and refined sugar, but I am down with chocolate and peanut butter (best combo ever). I’m also down with brownies and cookies. You see where this is going. I wanted both. So I made cr-ow-nies.

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I trolled the interwebs and found two recipes that fit my vision: didn’t take forever and didn’t call for a ton of ingredients. I was able to add my spin on them and out came these sexi nuggets of pure chocolaty chunky peanut buttery goodness. When I asked my husband to try them, he chewed, went silent and said…whoa WTF. That was a good sign. I’ve also had 3 in less than 12 hours.

If you have nut allergies – look away. These are not for you. I’m sorry. The cookies are a combo of raw cashews, cocoa powder and peanut butter. If you’re full on paleo, omit the peanut butter – tahini could work (although I haven’t tried it). The best part: they take max 30 minutes, start to finish.

I used my Vitamix for these. So you get little chunks of cashews in every bite. When you’re blending, you might need to stop, push the mixture down towards the blades and blend again. Just check the mix to make sure you are good with the consistency. It’s chunky, but raw cashews are pretty soft so they break down. I’m thinking a small food processor can do the job for the wet stuff + cashews. I worked really hard for a C in chemistry, I’m not super precise in measuring things — so you’ll always see a little wiggle room / go with your gut directions.

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These make about 20, 2″cookies, I used a teaspoon. I’m sure if you are super precise you can get 24 out of the batch.

On to the baking!!!!

1 cup raw cashews

1 egg

1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted – get your MCT’s)

2 tablespoons peanut butter (try to avoid peanut butter with palm oil – environmental reasons)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

handful of chocolate chips ( I use Enjoy Life)

To cook:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 F, line a baking sheet with a spilat (one of my favorite kitchen things) or parchment paper and a few sprays of olive oil or coconut oil so the cookies won’t stick, add the cashews, egg, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla to a blender or food processor – the mix won’t be velvety smooth, blend until kind of smooth, add the cocoa powder, baking soda, blend a little more, add the peanut butter and blend a few seconds longer.  Spoon the cookies onto the baking sheet and top with the chocolate chips (I also stirred some into the mix, but found topping the cookies with the chocolate chips looked better). Bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!