Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Skillet Frittata

 Skillet Frittata with berries

Super easy, super good. One red potato sliced thin. One yellow squash sliced thin. 3 green onions sliced thin. In a medium skillet, add bacon grease and olive oil to coat. Add veggies and saute on medium heat. Add garlic powder, black pepper, parsley, and salt. Whisk 4 eggs with water. Wait til potatoes are fork tender. Add eggs. With a rubber spatula, keep turning up the edges. Wait til set and flip. I added a few diced tomatoes at the end. (Or if your pan is oven proof, put in a 350° oven til done.) My flip isn't pretty, but the crispy potato and garlicky squash tastes divine. Enjoy!! 

Today, I separated the eggs from the potatoes and squash, but the same cooking method applies. Cut the potatoes and squash really thin and saute in bacon grease til done. A simple scrambled egg and tomatoes with green onion and olive oil, salt, and pepper compliments this dish so very well.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Zoodles with Homemade Pesto and Chimichurri Sauce

I thought this was really good, but my husband I are the only ones who ate it. My children had meatballs, broccoli and apples, or if you're my two year old girl, broccoli and a little bit of meatball! I can't complain. We try to eat as little grain, dairy, and sugar as possible. This is a really good dish and has none of those. The zoodles are zucchini noodles made using a spiralizer. I do a quick saute in a little olive oil. If you overdue it, they will turn to mush.
The Pesto...I rarely make a traditional pesto because pine nuts are too pricey for our budget. I use what I have and what I like. In my Vitamix, I put 2-3 huge handfuls of fresh basil, a bunch of parsley, 4 garlic cloves, salt, pepper, a handful of pecans, a handful of cashews, a squeeze of lemon, and I streamed olive oil in as it mixed til I liked the consistency. I poured it into two mason jars, so I could make one spicy. To the plain one I added a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and parsley. To the spicy, I added all that and a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes.
To make this dish, I added 3 big spoonfuls of pesto, tossed it in the zoodles, then added my leftover marinated tomatoes. I made chimichurri sauce the other night and then added tomatoes for a tasty topping for fajita bowls. Chimichurri Sauce it basically a lot of chopped parsley, chopped fresh garlic, a tiny amount of chopped fresh oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, a squeeze of lime, and olive oil.
Fajita Bowl and Tomatoes marinated in Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri Sauce

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Zoodles with a fresh tomato basil topping

I have a spiralizer. It makes zucchini noodles, cucumber ribbons, curly potatoes and more. I used 4-5 zucchini for this bowl. I do a quick saute. You don't want your noodles to be soggy. I used olive oil and 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped. Remove the zoodles and all the garlicky goodness and put in your pasta bowl. Add chopped tomatoes of all varieties, several basil leaves cut in a chiffonade, calamata olives, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss and enjoy! You can eat this hot, room temperature, or even cold. It was better the next day as all the flavors mingled together.

Chicken Sliders and Brussels Sprouts

On Whole30, you eat a lot of meat and eggs, so I wanted to try something different.
I bought a package of ground chicken, probably a pound and a half total. I added an egg for binding, Green Za'atar seasoning (which is thyme, oregano, and sesame seeds-found at my local international market), parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. I added a little olive oil and mixed them up. I formed them into small patties and put them on a baking sheet with a Silpat. I cooked them on 350 til done, but didn't like the color. I finished sauteing the Brussels Sprouts in a mix of bacon grease and olive oil. I added the chicken sliders to that pan to brown. Really good. We at these with leftover zucchini noodles. I share that recipe next. For the Brussels Sprouts, I simply cut them in half, out them in a pan of bacon grease and olive oil, added salt and pepper, and a little garlic. I cover my pan so they can steam just a bit, then take the lid off so they get crispy and brown.  

Friday, February 19, 2016

Whole30 Potato Salad and another chicken salad recipe

 Both of these recipes need homemade mayonnaise.  Since I knew I had leftover grilled chicken, I just made a little extra mayo. The chicken salad has a slight Mediterranean flavor with the added cucumbers and oregano. It was really, really good. The potato salad is more of a play on an old fashioned favorite with pickles and celery. I am almost finished with Whole30. I did have a small cheat Valentine's weekend and like many have said, the cookie just wasn't really that good. I am happy with looser pants and buttoning a once very tight shirt all the way up. My feet have stopped hurting and I will see my cardiologist next week to talk about different blood pressure medications. I know I am doing my heart a huge favor by cutting out processed foods.   
Since I knew I wanted to make two recipes, I just did the work once...chopped onions and celery for both recipes and cucumbers for the chicken and pickles for the potato. 
 Potato Salad
2 small bags of red potatoes (about 10-12), cut in chunks, par boiled, and then roasted*
2 stalks of celery cut on the diagonal
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
8-10 small garlic dill pickles (check your labels for sugar) sliced
Whole grain mustard
Homemade Mayo
1 tbs parsley
1 t dill
salt and pepper
 1 tbs garlic powder

In a large bowl, add celery, onions, and pickles. Add a good squeeze or spoonful of mustard. Stir everything. *For the potatoes, oar boil them in a large pot til fork tender, but not able to cut through. Drain water and put potatoes on a sheet pan. Add Olive oil, parsley, garlic powder and s&p. Toss and roast in 375 oven til golden. I tossed mine once during cooking time. It took about 12 minutes. 
Add mayo and dill to the mixing bowl. Stir and then add a spoon of the hot potatoes to warm up the mayo. Add the rest of the potatoes and stir. Keep refrigerated til ready to eat. At least an hour. 

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Grilled chicken breast, diced
2 stalks of celery cut on the diagonal
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 small cucumber, diced
Homemade Mayo
1 tbs parsley
1 t dill
1 t oregano
salt and pepper
1 tbs garlic powder

Put everything in a large mixing bowl (as long as the chicken is cooled. If not, add a little chicken to warm the mayo, then add the rest.) and stir. Keep refrigerated til ready to serve.

I'm joining 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Two recipes, a sweet 23 month old and a kindergarten project

Please excuse my hiatus! 
Life comes fast and furious with three children sometimes. My two boys are in a great school this year. They are busy learning everything set in front of them, but with kindergarten and 2nd grade that means my afternoons are spent looking at phonograms, reading books, and checking math problems. 
You would think I'd get more sleep now and have more energy. 
Not so...so with that said, I decided to give Whole30 a try. 
I had tried to start jogging when Madeleine was a baby, but my feet quickly gave me problems. 
I thought it was medication, not stretching etc., so I stopped. 
A friend of mine started Whole30 in January and I quickly thought I really need to try something. My clothes are tight, my mood is yucky, I don't feel well, and my feet hurt.
I'm on week 3 and can I just say, AMAZING!!!!! The knot in the arch of my foot is gone. The pain is gone! I'm sleeping better, my energy level is better, and my clothes are loose!!!
With Whole30, you take out a lot of foods--foods that cause pain, inflammation, stomach illness, etc. So, I stopped eating nitrates, sugar, dairy, wheat, grains, and more. I took my favorite recipes and tweaked them to be compatible with Whole30. Our meals are full of protein, vegetables, and fruits. I can still eat many of the foods I always ate, just a healthier version of it. And pretty much anything looks great on Polish Pottery. My mom gave me a couple of these plates for Christmas. I keep adding to my collection as my pants get looser:)  It's a great incentive to keep doing things right.
So here are two recipes...
Squash Fritters
Let me first say, these were soooo good. I loved fried squash when I lived in Romania...dredged in flour and milk and eggs...so I decided to semi recreate it to satisfy my taste, but limit the wheat and dairy. You could do just yellow squash or just zucchini. The yellow squash does give the fritter a beautiful natural sweetness. I didn't miss the flour or milk at all!!
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3-4 eggs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp parsley
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, whisk your eggs. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. In a large saute pan,  heat up some olive oil. Spoon in each fritter. Fry on one side til golden, then flip. These are a bit messy and can tear apart easily. Make sure the fritter is done before you flip it. 
Here is my sweet miracle girl. She will be 2 next month and I can hardly believe it...or catch my breath for that matter. Her favorites things are playing with chalk on the sidewalk, eating dinner with her daddy,  and playing with her brothers. She loves church, monkey (Curious George), and her babus (brothers). She is a bundle of joy and energy and one of the main reasons I decided to start my Whole30 journey. I need to be able to keep up with her!!! 
  Did I already tell you how much I LOVE my sons' school? Friday is their Literary Read-a-thon. They can wear a costume portraying a character in a book they have read. 
The books must be classical, on their reading lists, or the supplementary lists or just a classic that their teachers said is ok. No pop culture. 
So my sweet Andrew, who is in kindergarten, chose to be the letter A in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We enjoyed cutting, painting, and gluing his costume for Friday! My second grader has read a book of Fables and is portraying the Poor Old Dog, who wears a furry green coat and found a lost gold ring. 
Chicken Salad
2 chicken breasts cooked
1 bunch of green onions, sliced on the diagonal
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced on the diagonal
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 handful of pecans
1 handful of sunflower seeds
1 cup (give or take) of homemade mayonnaise
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp parsley

To make homemade mayo (no dairy, no sugar), in a small bowl, put in a squeeze of yellow mustard and an egg yolk. Start mixing with a whisk. Add a stream of olive oil and stir until you like the amount. You want it to emulsify, so keep stirring. Add salt and pepper  to taste.
For the salad, combine all the ingredients and keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat. I served my salad with avocado and half a grapefruit. You could put it on top of salad greens too. Enjoy. The mayo lasts about 3 days in the refrigerator.

As I continue my journey, I hope to post many more tweaked recipes. Recipes I love and hope you will love and enjoy too.

I'm joining in...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy October!!!

I feel like we've been on a whirl wind since we got back from the coast. My oldest turned 8!!! 
And he got into the school we'd been waiting for on his birthday...the Friday before school started. So he and little brother got to see a movie with their Ludee while Mommy filled out papers, turned in papers, bought uniforms, labeled supplies and got ready for his swim party the next day. 
First day of school together...
Andrew is his new kindergarten class...
With that sad, little brother started one school on Tuesday and then got into the school we'd been waiting for and started there on Wednesday. Both boys are very happy and challenged by their new school setting. We love our teachers and staff and couldn't be happier with our choice. 
Go Great Hearts Monte Vista Lions!!!

 Little Miss Madeleine is growing like a weed! She's a sassy, sweet, sophisticated little lady. She loves Curious George, water bottles, Shaun the Sheep, and her daddy:)
She is thrilled with excitement when the teacher opens the car door and she gets to see her brothers again. 
 Sitting pretty in September...

Reading books in August...

At the beach in July...

Some other lunches I've made...
And for the adults... homemade fig jams and flatbread pizzas
Some items used in our lunches...

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