I doubt these Brussels Sprouts are Healthy

Egg cups have been my salvation the past couple of days so I decided to chop up some bacon and make bacon and egg cups with Slap Yo Mama seasoning. They aren’t cooked yet but I imagine they are going to be delicious.

I had a bag of shredded Brussels sprouts from Target of all places and I decided to cook them in the bacon grease with some grapes. Turned out to be delicious.

Chop and cook 5 slices of bacon. Remove bacon when crispy to plate with paper towel.

In the bacon grease carefully because it will spit all over potentially causing injury add a bag of shredded Brussels sprouts or I would imagine cabbage. Cook until bright green and a bit browned adding 1 t of ground mustard, salt and pepper. For the last two minutes of cooking add two handfuls of grapes halved.

Top with 1/3 of the crispy bacon. I used the remainder in egg cups.

This can’t be healthy but it fits Whole 30 guidelines and is delicious.Tonight I absolutely needed delicious to stay on target.

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Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

This soup needs a better name. I’m thinking Spoons of Awesome or Buttersweet Soup. During food prep Monday I decided to throw together a butternut squash soup and at the last minute I added sweet potatoes. The result was this spicy and delicious soup that is perfect to freeze and take for lunches.

Recipe:

1 butternut squash peeled and chopped

32 oz of chicken broth

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 t of curry powder

1/2 t of ginger (I think next time I will grate fresh ginger at the end)

2 sweet potatoes (baked)

1 can of coconut milk

salt and pepper to taste

In the crockpot on high cook butternut squash with chicken broth and spices until soft. I left mine for about 3 hours. After it is soft add sweet potato and coconut milk. Blend with an immersion blender. That is it. Possibly the most simple soup ever and I promise it is delicious.

Whole 30 days 1 and 2 have gone well. The hardest part is being satisfied with water or unsweet beverages. I don’t miss grains in any way but I sure miss yogurt and creamy sweet coffee. I have been slugging down one cup of coffee in the morning and drinking tea in the afternoons. On Day 3 I am finding that I need to do a little more food prep.

Whole 30 Food Prep Day

Six hours and counting on food prep for the Whole 30. Disclaimer: I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee with creamer and I may have one last cup at 2350.

The first thing I did this morning was plan out what I am going to eat every day. Here is what it looked like next to what I usually eat.

Whole 30 Breakfast:egg cups, berries or egg scrambles vs Usual Breakfast: Greek yogurt smoothie with greek yogurt, berries, almond milk and honey or oatmeal and berries with almond milk

Whole 30 Lunch: meatballs and veg or soup and salad with oil and balsamic vs Usual Lunch of meat and squash or veg or veggies and hummus and more greek yogurt

Whole 30 Dinner: plans for spaghetti squash casserole, salmon and green beans, cabbage rolls and then lunch meals recycled on Friday and Saturday when I work vs Usual dinner of meat, sweet potatoes or squash and veg.

Snacks will be hardboiled eggs, cut up veg and egg cups.

I realized after writing this out that my planned meals don’t differ all that much from what I’m currently eating. The differences are really not cheating, not drinking alcohol and eliminating cream in my coffee.

The first thing I made this morning was chicken meatballs.

Basic Chicken Meatballs recipe:

Combine 2/3 ground chicken and 1/3 chicken apple sausage or just chicken sausage of any kind (I used some uncased chicken apple sausage I got at Sprouts) in large bowl.

Add One onion finely minced in food processor and half of an apple also finely minced in food processor.

Pinches of kosher salt and pepper

I used my cookie scoop to make equal sized balls and placed them on a cookie sheet I had covered in foil that I sprayed with coconut oil spray. Baked them for 20 minutes at 375 and then checked them for temperature of 165. Mine were about 168.I immediately took them off of the cookie sheet to cool on a plate.

I figure four meatballs is a lunch serving.

Next I made buffalo chicken tenders. This does not need a recipe. Chicken tenders tossed in buffalo sauce that I double checked does not have sugar and baked in the oven for 20 minutes. Yum and perfect to put on salad or pair with a veg.

I love anything “buffalo” so my next recipe was buffalo chicken egg cups. I stole this recipe and the way it printed I can’t tell where I took it from. One word of warning: only make egg cups in a silicone muffin pan or use cup liners. I learned this the hard way.

Buffalo Chicken Egg Cups (Preheat oven 350)

1 lb of ground chicken (I ground my own in the food processor. Simple.)

5 eggs

4 green onions chopped

1/4 Franks RedHot Buffalo sauce

1/4 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1/2 t baking soda

Whisk together eggs, onions, baking soda, salt and pepper. Add chicken and hot sauce and mix with a fork until well mixed. This takes a bit of breaking up the chicken. Scoop into a  silicone muffin pan. I filled them almost to the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm.

Warning these are crazy delicious.

Prep day is going well but the amount of dishes are staggering. I really haven’t gotten anything else done. Currently I have a butternut squash soup started in the crockpot and I’m about to make Tuna cakes and some apple pork chops. More recipes later.

Oh How Things Have Changed

Hello VegasYarn blog, I have returned and OH how things have changed. Since my previous blog posts I have completely altered the way I cook and eat. Gone are the days of glorious fat laden comfort food and baked goods. I am now following a nearly Paleo lifestyle. I say nearly because I eat Greek yogurt, oatmeal and my very worst vice…I put cream in my coffee.

My reasons for revisiting this blog are simple. I am about to embark on 3o days of purist Paleo…the Whole30. I didn’t think I could undertake this journey without the support of laying out my feelings and recipes in my blog. I feel shallow and ridiculous for being unable to imagine my life without even plain Greek yogurt and creamy sweet and delicious coffee. As they say right in their guidelines..it isn’t as if you are fighting cancer or birthing a baby..it is just black coffee.

Reality check time…it isn’t about the black coffee or the yogurt.. despite being very successful this past year at battling my addiction to food that has made me fat for all of my adult life, this is the final straw. I know in my soul that this will cut those ties to food in a more final way. Food is my heroin. Whole 30 prep begins tomorrow.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Baking an old favorite today. These pumpkin bars are super easy to make and taste great for a few days. They are originally from an Amish cookbook but I changed the spices a bit. I think my family likes these almost as much as brownies.

4 eggs

1 2/3 c sugar

1 c vegetable oil

15 oz can pumpkin

2 c all purpose flour

2 t baking powder

1 t ground cinnamon

1 t ground nutmeg

1/2 t ground cloves

1 t salt (I use 1/2)

1 t baking soda

* note: you can also just use 2 t pumpkin pie spice

At medium speed combine eggs, sugar and oil and pumpkin until light a fluffy. Add dry ingredients and beat on low. Greased 13×10 pan. Bake 30 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

Cream cheese icing:

8 oz package of cream cheese softened

1/2 c butter, softened

2 c powdered sugar

1 t vanilla

Combine all ingredients and mix on low.

Cornbread Dressing (Thanksgiving Eve)

It is Thanksgiving Eve, I’m approx 18 hours away from “The Show” and I’m behind schedule. At this point I should have all onions and celery chopped, pumpkin pie cooling and my grandmother’s cranberries in the fridge. I have all the bread for the cornbread dressing toasted and sitting out to dry and currently have cornbread baking.

The recipe I use is adapted from one of my southern cooking bibles Talk About Good which was a cookbook printed by the Junior League of Lafayette, LA in 1969. (the year I was born)

THE NIGHT BEFORE:

Bake two round cake pans of cornbread. I use the recipe right on the cornmeal container and I only use 1/2 of the sugar in the recipe. Leave cornbread out just lightly covered with a towel so it will be dry.

Toast 1 1/2 loaves of cheap white and wheat bread. When the bread is cool enough tear it into pieces and then place it in the open bread bag so that it will dry. Kids love helping with this step.

2 pans of cornbread crumbled

1 1/2 loaves of toasted bread torn and dried

1  1/2 c of chopped onion

1 1/2 c of chopped celery

1 med bell pepper chopped

6 eggs slightly beaten

approx 8 cups of chicken or turkey broth

salt and pepper to taste

In your largest bowl (I use a stockpot) combine the torn bread and crumbled cornbread. Add chopped onion, celery and bell pepper. Add eggs. Add 4 cups of the broth. Combine with hands adding broth until all ingredients are moist but not dripping. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remember when tasting there are raw eggs in the mixture. You can also add approx 2t of poultry seasoning but I usually don’t. Grease an 8×14 or any large casserole. Add mixture and bake covered with foil at 350 for 1 hour. Remove foil and bake another 1/2 hour.

 

 

Creamy Tortilla Soup (Trisha Yearwood)

I take pride in the fact that I almost never cook from cans and mixes. That being said this soup uses more canned ingredients than anything I make and it is super easy and delicious. If you use a rotisserie or leftover chicken (I’ve also made it with leftover bbq pork) it can even be made quickly for dinner. It freezes great and tastes even better days later from the fridge.

Ingredients:

3 T butter

1t minced garlic

1 medium onion

2 T flour

42 oz chicken broth

1 c half and half

3 c whole milk

can of cream of chicken soup

1 c salsa

14 oz can of black beans (drained)

14 oz can of kidney beans (drained)

14 oz can of corn (drained)

2 t cumin

1 pack of fajita mix

leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken or any leftover meat

Tortilla chips

Grated cheese, sour cream, diced avocado or whatever you like for garnish

In a dutch oven or large pot melt butter and cook onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute stirring constantly. Add flour and cook for one minute stirring constantly. Add chicken broth, half and half, milk, cream of chicken, salsa, beans, corn, cumin and fajita mix. Cook on med low heat until mixture bubbles. Add meat and simmer approx 20 minutes or until beans are cooked to your liking. Serve with crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips and garnish to your taste.