Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

So if you haven’t figured it out yet – I am a BIG fan of ground turkey. I just think it is so versatile, you get a lot for your money and I feel comfortable cooking it. Basically a home run for me! But, I will say that sometimes I struggle with thinking of new things to make so that I don’t get bored with my food. This recipe I had made back when I was living in Arizona and it was so fresh and delicious I just had to try it again and see what R thought about it!

photo 2Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 1/3-1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 small can of crushed pineapple (make sure that it is canned in it’s own juice) – also, drain some of the liquid out
  • 1/2 cup green onion
  • 3 T coconut aminos

Place all ingredients in a bowl, mix together (I ended up foregoing the spoon and just using my hands to make sure that everything mixed well – for obvious reasons there are no pictures of that…) and form into patties. I made 4 good sized burgers and then 2 smaller ones (which I have been having with a salad for lunch). This is a great meal that you can prepare ahead of time. I was scheduled to work late on Wednesday so I just mixed the ingredients and formed the patties and put them in the fridge for R to cook on Wednesday after work. You can also freeze them so you can always have something on hand! (I think I am going to do a big batch here soon.) R just sprayed our pan with cooking oil and let them cook all the way through. Because of the pineapple – they are SO juicy!! It’s great.

We also had the extra burgers last night for dinner, so I wanted to do something else as a side – hence why I went to the Farmers Market for some inspiration. I also had gotten a wonderful little package from my mom yesterday that had 4 different Penzey’s Spices in it and I was DYING to try them, then I found a recipe for sautéed sesame green beans (which were at the FM and called for crushed red pepper) and mmm mmm mmm was it good!

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Sautéed Sesame Green Beans

  • 1 lb of green beans
  • 3 T toasted sesame oil
  • 2 T crushed red pepper
  • 1 T sea salt

Wash and tear the stems off of the beans. Place all beans in a pan with a rim, and fill with about 2 inches of water. Place on high heat and let come to a boil – once boiling, let the beans cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the beans and leave in colander while you heat the sesame oil in the same pan on med-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the beans back in and coat well with the oil. Let cook for 2 minutes and then add the crushed red pepper – mixing well. Cook for another 5 minutes (or until the beans are tender) and add the sea salt. THAT’S IT! They were finger licking good.

I also tried to cook the padron peppers – it was a huge fail. I am not even getting into that right now. And one of the ones that I ate was spicy as HELL – I literally couldn’t taste the rest of my meal so I am a little bitter haha. But, maybe I will give them another try – probably not…

Steak-Revamped

As I mentioned in a post from earlier in the week – we splurged and got 6 steak filets at Costco. Because they do not last as long as chicken breast or ground turkey (at least that’s what it seemed like from reading the packages) we wanted to eat them quickly so they didn’t go bad! By Tuesday, I was maybe a little tired of steak – I think it was just a lot of red meat for me when I rarely eat it anyway. But I knew we were having it for dinner so I was trying to think of a new side we could put together. I had to run to Target to pick something up (I seriously cannot remember what right now…) and of course I sauntered over to the food section to scour the aisles for something to eat that night. I found a bag of frozen butternut squash (which I had never tried), so I thought I would make a little sauté with that, broccoli and onions.

photo 3And you know what? It didn’t turn out too shabby!

Sautéed Broccoli and Butternut Squash

  • 1 bag of frozen butternut squash
  • 2 cups of broccoli
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 T ground red pepper
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

It was simple, simple. I just steamed the butternut squash for a few minutes (it was in a steamable bag) then I heated the coconut oil and added the broccoli and onions – let them cook for a few minutes and added the squash. Now I think I put the squash in the microwave for a little too long, because it got kind of mushy when it was on the stove – but I thought (and so did R) that it tasted good anyway! R topped his steak with some mushrooms and onions and we were set!

I also took a trip to the Wilsonville Farmer’s Market (Wilsonville is the town we live in) this week! It was a quaint little event, probably 10-15 stands and only about 5 of them had fresh ingredients. But it was a nice day so I just walked around, enjoyed the live music and picked up a few things for us to munch on!

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  • Honeydew Melon
  • Green Beans
  • Padron Peppers
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Jalapeño smoked jerky (not pictured because I realized after I got home that I completely skipped over the ingredient brown sugar on the list! so that will have to just be saved for one of our cheat days later on!)

 

Spent $17, which is obviously more than I would have paid at the store – but I like buying local in small amounts. And we made an awesome side dish with the green beans that I will be posting here shortly!

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DAY 30!

30 days down, 22 more to go!!! (I messed up when I said the total was going to be 50…because I can’t count)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you have even pondered with the idea of going Paleo, JUST DO IT! 30 days is like NOTHING. SEt your mind to it and I promise you, you will feel the difference. In general, I am sleeping better, feeling more awake throughout the day, not snacking in between meals and feeling energized throughout my workouts. It’s like my body has been rejuvenated. That may sound dramatic, but seriously this change will make DRAMATIC differences in your day to day life. Not only is my body feeling better but am feeling better about my body. Weighing yourself is a “no-no” during whole30, but some people had been asking me what my results were. I knew I had lost weight – it was obvious (to me and to the shorts that I was able to start wearing again) but I didn’t know an actual number. Well, I caved and weighed myself yesterday when I got to the gym – AND I AM DOWN TWELVE POUNDS! Now let me tell you, I have only been working out 3-4 times a week for about 1 hour each. Nothing crazy, just running on the treadmill, going to a class at the gym, or lifting weights. The main thing I have been doing is CHANGING MY DIET.

For SO long I have just tried to “watch my portions” or eat 6 small meals or whatever other fad I was trying to get on board with. But it was never sustainable for me, because there wasn’t a reason behind those – just the want to lose weight. Now that I have a better understanding of what certain foods can do to your body, it’s a lot easier to just not eat them. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I will ever look at a bag of Doritos in disgust (because…how could I?) but I don’t look at them with the longing-ness that I used to because I know that they are NOT DOING ANYTHING HELPFUL for my body. (And I can make a snack at home that I like AND that is good for me…hello apples and almond butter) I read a quote the other day that I want to share with you all because it really struck a chord with me: “If you eat what you’ve always eaten, you’ll weigh what you’ve always weighed.”

It was my time to stop making excuses and I am so glad that I did. Here’s to you being able to make the same great changes for your body, or whatever changes work best for you, and to our health getting better. (and our clothes getting looser!)

Steaks on Steaks

So you may have looked at this week’s meal plan and thought to yourself…that’s weird – they are having steak?

I cannot tell you the last time I bought red meat. It’s totally allowed, and actually suggested, on the paleo plan – I just never feel comfortable cooking it. And if I ever had a recipe that called for some kind of ground beef, I usually would substitute ground turkey or chicken. (I did just have a little memory lapse that we had ground chuck in the chili a couple of weeks ago, but still that was given to us – so I am okay on the whole saying I haven’t bought any thing haha.) Anyway, I don’t have anything against it – hey, I lived in Iowa long enough to be know a good steak when I see one (especially when it comes with a heaping side of mashed potatoes and some delicious sweet corn) but I’ll say it again, for some reason I just never think of making it.

In hopes that we could liven up the menu this week, we thought we should branch out on the proteins (meat) we were buying at the store. Our plan was to get shrimp and steaks at Costco and make a few different meals based off of those. Then, we saw the price tags and had to readjust this so-called “plan”. (Mental note to self – there is no reason to buy seafood at Costco when you are cooking for 2 people.. DUH!) We decided to just choose one and figure out what we were doing for the rest of the week later on, so we bought a package of 6 decently sized steaks (I can’t even remember what the actual cut was, I just told R to pick the one he wanted). We also bought another 6 lbs of ground turkey…we really can’t get enough of the stuff. So we will be set until the weekend at least! (Mental not for you – you are going to be eating A LOT of meat/protein if you go paleo, don’t be afraid of it!)

Sunday night we just grilled up the steaks by themselves with some veggies and got comfy on the couches while watching Breaking Bad and Newsroom. But last night, we made steak kebabs to jazz it up a little! Simple “recipe”, just peppers and onions. Well I was supposed to put mushrooms on too BUT I forgot so we just put them all on a different skewer. For those of you who know me – I do NOT like mushrooms. I keep trying them and keep hating them. Yesterday was not an exception to that. We also bought a gigantic thing of seasoned salt at Costco and used that to season. Served it up with a salad (tomatoes, cucumbers and olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing) and VIOLA!

image-75Another side note – I love having leftovers in the fridge. They are easy and you can recreate meals to be just a TAD different so you don’t get bored (i.e. steak vs. kebabs). So we had lettuce wraps last week and still had some of the filling in the fridge. I decided yesterday (Monday) that we either needed to eat it or we were going to throw it away. So I took the container with me to the house I nanny at (and threw a head of lettuce in my bag) and at lunch, instead of having this semi-messy lunch I turned it into a salad!

All I did was chop up the lettuce, warm up the filling, chop a tomato and spritzed it with olive oil (using the MISTO – omg I want one SOOOO BAD!) Tasty, simple and QUIET so that I didn’t wake up my little buddy!

image-74We are having the last of our steak tonight. I think I might run to the store and see if I can snag some new veggies that are on sale or something… I’m thinking zucchini and carrots. I’ll let you know what happens! I’m sure you will just be clicking the refresh button until you find out!

Week 5 Meals

Another day, another dollar. Another week, another meal plan!

Day 30 will be coming up here this week – can you believe it?!?! I think that the past 20 or-so days have gone by incredibly fast and pretty easily as far as our meals were concerned. I want to reiterate again that this really isn’t TOO TOUGH of a plan to follow and that with some planning and preparation I truly believe that anyone can do it. But, I am also not oblivious to the fact that it may have been slightly easier for us being here in Portland since we don’t know a lot of people here just yet. What I mean when I say this is, that if the person (or people) you spend the most time with is (are) on the same plan/lifestyle change as you are – things are made A LOT easier. I don’t have to worry that I am going to have to sit by while R enjoys a few Miller Lites while watching football or that when I go to mexican with my friends that I will have to pass on the chips and queso (keeps coming back to the damn queso!). So yes, I think we chose the optimal time to do the whole30 for our life – but do I think that means it ISN’T possible for others? Maybe people who are living with a significant other or roommates who aren’t interested or someone who travels a lot? No, that’s not what I mean. But I do realize that part of our “ease” into success was, I believe, due to the fact that this was something we decided to do together.

While we are still going to be doing the whole30 plan until the triathlon on September 22nd – our plan for the FUTURRRRRE is to continue living the paleo lifestyle in what’s called an 80/20 plan. So during the week we will continue eating paleo and then give ourselves a HOO-RAH on one of the weekend days. Meaning, maybe we will go to a brewery or out to eat or enjoy a nice large bottle of wine at home (probably option three most likely). Here’s hoping that we can keep it up!

You probably didn’t even care about ANY of that. Sorry for rambling 🙂

ONTO…the meal plan! This week is pretty simple, I am going to try and get some new recipes so I can quit boring you guys, but not just yet haha

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  • Monday: Steak Kebabs w/ salad
  • Tuesday: Steak w/ steam broccoli and green beans
  • Wednesday: Turkey burgers w/ sautéed peppers and onions (maybe a little salad if we are feeling crazy!)
  • Thursday: Leftovers from turkey burger night
  • Friday: Pineapple Brat Bake

As for the weekend meals, we are planning on going to Whole Foods and checking out their meat counter and trying something new! Cross your fingers we find something delicious AND cheap!

4 weeks

I cannot believe what I am about to tell you…

IT HAS BEEN FOUR WEEKS SINCE I HAVE HAD A DRINK, or grains, or dairy, or legumes. 

I really can’t believe it, but I am so happy that we decided to do this. R and I are both really feeling the effects and seeing some changes in our physical appearances. For example, R used to have at least a cup of coffee every day – but he hasn’t had to have coffee (or even tea) in over a week! Our bodies are changing and it’s for the better. Here’s to being healthier!

Anyway, now that I got that out of my system… I want to tell you about my favorite meal that we have made so far. I don’t know exactly why I loved it so much. Maybe because it was kind of along the lines of comfort food, or because it had a nice little touch of tang to it, or because it was my three favorites – quick, easy and delicious. REGARDLESS – try this recipe, it will not disappoint.

Paleo Sloppy Joe’s (click the link to be directed to recipe from Stir it Up)

Here are some changes/additions I decided to make:

  • Substituted ground turkey for ground chuck
  • Used coconut oil to cook the meat instead of kerrygold butter
  • Added an additional 2-3 T of mustard (I love mustard and I was excited because I didn’t realize we could use the kind we had in our fridge … check the ingredient list before doing this!!)
  • Used a can of diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce (I had an open can in the fridge that I wanted to use)
  • Skipped the stevia
  • Added these spices: arrowroot, ground mustard and some crushed red pepper

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We paired it with steamed broccoli and mashed sweet potato. (I can’t remember if I have already mentioned this – but incase you don’t know, actual sweet potatoes are a white-ish color while YAMS are the orange one)

Mashed Sweet Potatoes (simple)

  1. Peel and cube 1 large sweet potato
  2. Place in a pot of water and bring to a boil
  3. Let boil/cook (making sure the pot doesn’t overflow) until you can easily pierce the pieces with a fork
  4. Drain the water and add 1-2 T of coconut oil and mash away!
  5. Add salt/pepper to taste

We made this meal on Friday, and it made A LOT. (Again, another plus) So last night, instead of cooking up something else, we decided to stuff some left over peppers we had with the remaining sloppy joe filling. We just baked those for about 25 minutes and again steamed some broccoli. I have to say, since I liked the sloppy joe stuff so much – I preferred that in the pepper’s than the actual stuffed pepper filling we made previously in the week.

This weekend has been pretty low key for us. The company I work for (College Sitter Contact, Inc.) has been working really hard over the past year to get a new site developed and designed so that we can better serve our users. And the weekend is FINALLY here that we are working on the final steps and testing so I had to be able to be by my computer/phone pretty much at all times. We did manage to watch all three Christian Bale Batman movies though – god they are so good.

One thing that I have NOT been hating this weekend has been breakfast in bed. 🙂 R is one of those people that the second his eyes open he can eat breakfast. I never used to be like that, I actually really disliked that. BUT now with eating dinner at like 6 or 7 and not really snacking at all, I too find myself hungry whenever it is we wake up. (Usually at the crack of dawn for some god forsaken reason.) BUT I digress… This past week (and weekend) I/we have been doing omelets (disclaimer – the picture below looks more like scrambled eggs) with whatever veggies we have on hand and throwing some bacon in there. Quite delicious – especially with a side of some nectarine! (One of my new favorites thanks to R!)

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Also, I have been keeping up on my running! Today’s run will be the 4th day of week two. Making strides!

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Paleo Stuffed Peppers

When I see recipes titled “Paleo _____ “, I am starting to be able to easily know what items are left out and what things are added instead to bulk it up. Not that this is a really cool trait or anything, just thought I would share. So, when I saw a recipe for Paleo Stuffed Peppers I figured that it would obviously be without rice (or any grain) and without cheese. I am a HUGE fan of stuffed peppers – typically I went down the mexican route and used corn, black beans, tomatoes, onion, chicken or turkey and mexican cheese. BUT I can only use three of those ingredients now, so I figured I would check in on what some other people were doing.

I got this recipe from Craftydad.com and followed it pretty much to the T. I am not going to bother writing out the whole thing, because I think you should check out this guy’s blog – he has some other good posts too. But I will say that I thought they were absolutely DELICIOUS!

image-73After we stuffed our faces with these peppers, R and I went to see the new movie Jobs with Ashton Kutcher. (Tuesday nights at our local theater tickets are 5 buckaroos, always lookin’ for a bargain) Let me first tell you that R and I LOVE movie theater popcorn – if you don’t, you’re crazy. And we USED to be the kind of people who would order a cherry coke to wash down that popcorn… well, NOT NO MORE!!!! Last night we went to the movies with two tupperware containers (one for each of us) with frozen grapes and our water bottles. We did sort of have to run past the concession stands so that we didn’t falter from the plan, but our grapes were delicious and the movie was pretty good too!

I would suggest watching the Jobs documentary that is on HBO before you go to the movie though. I liked that I had a little more insight to some of the happenings that they were portraying in the movie. And who doesn’t like to see a little bit of our Iowan celebrity Ashton Kutcher????

ANYWAY – this is my last post for today, I am sure you are thanking your lucky stars. I promise I will get better at posting once a day so you don’t have to play catch-up with my exciting life!

Enjoy your Wednesday!