What Are We Eating This Week?

It’s no secret that I like lazy, easy, healthy meals.  I don’t mess around with recipes that call for 947 ingredients, and I certainly don’t want to extend my time in the kitchen any longer than I have to since I’m pretty much there for hours a day already.  I’m not saying eating real whole food made from scratch isn’t worth it, because it totally is, I’m just saying Can I Live?***

If you’re here, chances are you relate.  You want to be able to prepare a meal of real whole food quickly, without hassle.  Weekday, Weekend, it’s all the same to us, right?  In and out, baby.  Let’s get this food to the table, let the kids decide if it’s a “This is the best dinner ever!  Thank you Mommy!” night or a “I know this is my favorite food ever, but not tonight!” night, so we can wash the dishes for the twelfth time today.  Am I right?

I know I’m not alone, so for all two of you who read this blog my gift to you is “What Are We Eating This Week?”

I’ll share links when needed, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

Breakfasts:

Sausage Egg Cups From PaleOMG

These are for my husband, so I use hot ground sausage.  Aldi, my second favorite place on earth right behind the whole state of Alaska, has it for super cheap.

Breakfast Salad   Spinach, cucumbers, avocado, cherry tomatoes with  fried eggs on top.

(My friend Jaci at Chasing A Hundred once said that anything is better with a fried egg on top.  She’s right.  She should also start blogging again! Ahem!)   I literally eat this every day.  It’s my favorite meal.  There’s something about using the egg yolk kind of like a dressing that’s extra amazing.  Add in the creamy avocado, and bacon, and it’s making me drool all over myself just thinking about it.

Lunches:

Salads with Rotisserie Chicken

Leftovers

Tuna Salad Wraps with homemade mayo, carrots, cucumbers, and olives

Egg Salad Wraps (also with homemade mayo)

Zoodles and Meatballs

Dinners:

BBQ Bacon Burger Salads

Featuring Home Made BBQ Sauce from Happy Wife Style  It’s really the star of the show!

Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, and Broccoli

Rotisserie Chicken with Kale Chips and Salad

Bangers and Mash  (Have I mentioned that Aldi carries ground sausage for cheap?)

Slow Cooker  Sausage, Peppers and Onions

Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef with Swiss Chard, and Cauliflower

Slow Cooker BBQ Shredded Chicken in Boston Lettuce Wraps with olives and raw veggies

(Have I mentioned how good that BBQ Sauce is?)

 

The kids love helping, and their favorite thing to make is Kale Chips.  They’re pretty much experts at this point.  I just pull up their Learning Tower, give them a bowl and watch them skillfully rip the leaves into pieces and throw the stems on the floor.  (I’m not kidding, they totally do that every time!)

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Kale is serious business!

***Yes, I did link you to an Urban Dictionary entry because I’m super hip.  Don’t hate.  I’m actually fairly certain that none of these things I’ve said in this line are still cool.  Please don’t go.  I’ll try my best to not be so, um, uncool?

I’d love to hear what’s on your menu this week!   What’s your go-to easy meal?  Do your kids insist on throwing food items on the ground even if you’re standing six inches away with your hands extended?  

Recipe Review: Stupid Easy Paleo’s Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

I’m secretly convinced that Steph Gaudreau and I would be BFF’s if she knew I existed.  Her  Podcast Harder To Kill Radio is pretty much my favorite thing in the world.  Her website Stupid Easy Paleo is the first place I look when I want to try something new.

I appreciate that the recipes are actually easy.  I spend all day in the kitchen as it is, the last thing I feel like doing is making a dinner that has 947 ingredients and 312 steps.

Her recipes are tasty and easy, perfect for someone like me who is lazy and a novice chef. 

When I thought of reviewing recipes, I immediately knew the first one I wanted to share:

Paleo Chick-fil-A Recipe – Grain-Free

 

So good.  So, so, so, so good.

Easy.  Fast.  Cheap.  Delicious.  Everything you could ever want in a recipe!

How does it stack up?

Lazy Scale:  9/10

Taste:  10/10

Lazy Novice Tips:

  • Read the whole recipe.  It calls for at least an hour, preferably more, to soak in the pickle juice.  The longer it soaks the better.  Do it the night before, trust me.

  • Don’t cut the chicken pieces too small.  You’ll want to be able to cut them to check for done-ness.  The first time I cut the chicken into chick-fil-a sized pieces, only to be left with little pieces once I cut them in half to check.  I’m a freak about under cooked chicken, so I always need to be sure it is done.

Sunday Funday: Football Edition

It’s Big Game day.  Remember when you couldn’t say the words Super Bowl a few years back?  Was that only if you were trying to profit from it, or was that some weird thing that no one cares about any longer?

We don’t have cable, but I’m streaming the game.  The kiddos are in bed, finally and my poor husband is at work, alone.  Don’t feel bad for him though, he’s getting paid to watch the game.  Alone.  In silence.

And he totally got the hook up when it came to Big Game Munchies!  I cooked from 11:30am-4:00pm just to finish them all.

Chick-Fil-A knock off wings, fried pickles, hot wings, and deviled eggs.  I didn’t even sneak in a single vegetable!  You can find all the recipes here.

LAZY NOVICE TIP:

When making deviled eggs, add the filling mixture to a plastic ziplock bag.  Just cut the corner off to make a handy, mess-free piping bag.

You’ll have less waste, and it looks way prettier that way!

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On to the Super Bowl Grub:

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Hot Wings with diablo sauce

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Deviled eggs with homemade mayo

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Chick-Fil-A knockoff nuggets with homemade BBQ sauce, fried pickles and deviled eggs

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…just because no post of mine would be complete without a breakfast shot.

As you can see my husband ate well despite having to work, so don’t feel too badly for him.

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I mean, maybe a little bit because he did miss this.

How was your Sunday Funday:  Football Edition?  Did you go to or host a party?  What did your plate look like?  I’d love to know!

If you fail to plan…

Pretty sure that’s my favorite colloquialism, and I’m also pretty sure colloquialism is my favorite word to say out loud.  (Try it now, seriously.  I’ll wait!)

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.  It’s brilliant in it’s simplicity, right?

We’re on a pretty strict budget, so meal planning is so important for us.  I do my meal planning on Wednesday, and go shopping on Thursday.

I’m working on a post where I share my system for meal planning and shopping, because until I figured this out I floundered.  We overspent.  We ran out of things too soon,  but we also had a ton of waste each week.  I’d have “ingredients” but not things I needed to make meals.  It was a mess.

I’ll share that just as soon as I can, because I know I’m not the only one who struggled with meal planning.

Until then, it’s time for a new weekly feature:  What Are We Eating This Week?

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Leftovers
  • Salads with protein (Tuna, Deli Meat, Leftovers)
  • Tuna salad wraps with olives, carrots, and cucumbers

Dinners:

And because it’s Superbowl,  I’m making a whole fun, but still pretty healthy spread!

  • Knock-Off Chick-Fil-A Nuggets from Steph at Stupid Easy Paleo (I’m not sure if I love her or this recipe more, and I’m a total fangirl!)
  • Oven Fried Pickles from Paleo Leap  (The CFA nuggets need pickle juice, and I don’t want them to go bad so this seems perfect!)
  • Hot Wings for my hot sauce lovin’ husband
  • And a SECRET SURPRISE for my husband and kids:  Deviled Eggs!  After my Mayo Fail yesterday, I’m thinking I might have to experiment a bit and use avocado in place of mayo.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

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It doesn’t even make sense…

I’ve been making homemade mayo for what, four whole weeks here?  That basically qualifies me as an expert, right?

Had you asked me before today I would have told you it’s so easy, fool-proof even.  I opened a fresh new bottle of light tasting olive oil, cracked in the egg and mustard powder, and slowly added the rest of the olive oil.  And then?

Liquid.  No emulsifying.  No thickening.  Just liquid.

I figured I could fix it.  I’m smart, I’m good in the kitchen.  And I have literally all of the knowledge in the world in the palm of my hand!  

I found a bunch of tips.  Add more egg.  Add boiling water.  Make another batch and mix this in instead of oil.

Nope.  Nada.  Nothing.  Well, something.  But just liquid.

Apparently sometimes it just happens*.  Or that’s what I (along with hundreds of others who sought out advice online after messing up a batch) hear.  It just happens sometimes.  You didn’t do anything wrong, ok?  It just happens.  Let it go.  It’s just mayo, you’ll be fine!  (I’m only slightly exaggerating, I seriously hate when things go wrong in the kitchen.  I may take it a smidge too personal!)

On the bright side, dinner was amazing.   We had Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast Beef, cinnamon sweet potatoes and swiss chard.  It got a big thumbs up from all of us, kids included.  It was super flavorful and super easy, too!

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*Personally, I’m blaming the cheap olive oil for the mayo fail!

My favorite lazy meal

How in the world have I not shared my absolute favorite, most yummy, incredibly cheap, super easy perfect for a weeknight lazy dinner ever?

It never fails to hit the spot.

It’s really a BBQ bacon burger without the bun, but I can pretend it’s a salad.   What’s not to love?

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BBQ Bacon Salads

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of your favorite lettuce (Boston lettuce is my go-to)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Dill Pickle, diced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • 1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 c. homemade BBQ Sauce
  • 1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled

Instructions

  1. Grab the biggest bowl you can find, trust me you'll want more!
  2. Combine the first six ingredients. (You know how to make a salad!)
  3. Top with BBQ Sauce and crumbled bacon.
  4. Enjoy!
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I’m a sucker for a bundle…

Some women love handbags, some love shoes, some love home decor.  Me?  I’m a total sucker for a bundle.  Throw some amazing bloggers/podcasters/experts and their materials into a package and I will eat it up.

I mean, first I’ll make the recipes included in the bundle and then I’ll eat it up.  But before that I will download whatever is included in any bundle and immerse myself in all of the e-books, guides and resources that are now available for me.  For hours, maybe days.

So, imagine my giddy grade school giggle when I saw an email in my inbox today from Arsy at Rubies and Radishes about a free bundle!  

I actually found Arsy and her site when her book Easy Paleo Slow Cooker Meals was included in The Family Resolution Revolution bundle put out by Paleo Parents in January 2015ish.

You can signup and get the free bundle by clicking her link any time before February 12th.   I’m not being endorsed or paid for this in any way, I’m just sincerely sharing this because I’m excited and I want all three of you who actually read this to be able to grab your copy today!

There are a ton of resources included covering topics like recipes, sleep, stress reduction, fermentation, fertility, skin care and saving money while eating real food.

Grab it while you can!  And let me know your favorite resource!

Whole 30 Day Something Or Other

You may have already guessed it, but I have fallen off the Whole 30 wagon and landed square on my bum.   But, I’m resilient and some may even say stubborn!

Our oldest just turned four!  FOUR!  I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but the tall human who replaced my baby girl assures me it is.  She’s silly, and funny and a ton of fun and everything I could ever want in a daughter.  We moved to NYC on New Year’s Eve, and she was born just a few weeks later.  She loves the city, so for her birthday we took her and little brother to celebrate.  And celebrate we did!

We went to Max Brenner for lunch and had chocolate pizza.  It was worth it.

Then a few days later we had drinks.

So today I figured I already lost this Whole 30 game and I’d hop on the scale.  I was surprised and thrilled to see that I have lost 12 pounds in just 24 days, despite my cheating.  Then I realized that I was wearing the same outfit as my day one photo, so I asked my husband to take some photos.   To say that I am motivated now would be an understatement!

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Note to self:  You’re not Arnold, put your arms down in the next photo set

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 Clear skin thanks to Whole 30, New tooth thanks to Dr. Cathy

So I’m determined, I have fire in my belly and I’m ready to do this.  Tomorrow is technically Day One…again.  Except I shall refer to it as Day 25 of my Whole 55, because my mental state can not take calling it day one.  Is that cool with y’all?  (Because I’m doing it anyway.  Stubborn, remember?)

I’m heading back to the gym tomorrow.  I love working out.  I love lifting.

I also loved my personal trainer, but adulting got in the way of that.  I lost my mojo and felt discouraged.  I didn’t even want to be there any more.

Last night I was so inspired by This Post by the amazing ladies at Girls Gone Strong that I had already decided to go back and work hard tomorrow.

I figured I already own Jen Sinkler’s Lift Weights Faster 2 so I might as well use it, right?  I’m going to figure out my schedule and the plan of attack now.

(Maybe not like now now.  Maybe after a spoonful of some vanilla almond butter that I’ve been avoiding since it has palm sugar and isn’t compliant.  After all, day one doesn’t start until tomorrow, right?!)

Whole 30 Day 8

Another day, another dollar.  Or something.  I really have no intro planned, and I’m way too tired to brain right now.

I went to the dentist today to be fitted for my replacement tooth and get a filling.  I was pretty bummed out that I got the room with the tropical light cover, and then I realized that I seriously sit with my eyes squeezed closed and my hands digging into my thighs any time the dentist comes near me, so it doesn’t matter what silly light cover the room I was in had, because like, they all have loud tools and pokey things and I am not going to be convinced that I’m in some lush tropical paradise, or on top of a mountain liked I’d prefer.

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Seriously though, I do think it’s kind of rad

We had fun matching up my tooth color with a billion samples.  It was only slightly awkward when I said, “Let me take a selfie!”  Ok, it was super awkward.

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 Up close and personal y’all!

I’ve learned during this experiment that I am really good at remembering to take photos of breakfast, awful at taking photos of lunch, and somewhat satisfactory at taking photos of dinner.  If dinner photos were a pass/fail class, I’d pass for sure.  It makes sense since I love eggs, and they are my favorite food ever.

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It always looks pretty, too.

I skipped lunch since I was all novacained up, and along with my bull-dog, lip hanging look I wasn’t hungry.

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You know exactly what I mean

Dinner.  Here’s a funny story!  Bree has dance on Tuesday, and I texted my husband to ask him if he could dump the sauce in the slow cooker when he got home.  He did…except he thought I meant the BBQ sauce.  I didn’t…I meant the tomato sauce.  It was surprisingly delicious!  I’m fairly certain we will never make sausage, peppers and onions again without delicious BBQ sauce.

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I’ll spare you the after photos, because they just aren’t as pretty when they are cooked and covered in BBQ sauce.

Whole 30 Day 5, 6, 7

As I type this, it’s technically day 8 of our first Whole 30.  I had to look at the calendar like four times to figure it out, I wonder if brain fog is a normal symptom at this point.  I should head on over to the timeline and check it out, but I’m already working on borrowed time right now.

I head to the dentist in a bit for my denture fitting for my baby tooth issue.  I’m super stoked to finally have that gap fixed, but not super stoked for the accompanying bill.

We’re still trucking around on this whole 30 journey, and it seems to be getting easier in most ways.

Let’s do a quick round-up of the last few days that I’ve been too busy enjoying to sit down and blog.

Saturday Whole 30 Day 5

My husband was off, so we got to have a big breakfast all together.  I’ve been making him sausage egg cups to take to work, so it was the first day he got to join in on my new found love of fried eggs.  We’d been a strictly scrambled family until about a week ago.

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I spent the morning meal planning and list making for the week.  This whiteboard is one of my secrets to success, it’s next to a calendar so I can plan what we’ll eat based on the day’s schedule.  I can’t plan too in depth with two kids, because I really never know what the day will bring.

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We got dressed and headed out to The Union Transportation Trail.  It was an old railway that the town converted to open trails for biking and walking and horse riding.

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Kids love sticks-Fact!

Bree and I then headed out to do our grocery shopping.  Do you shop at Aldi?  If you haven’t been there in a while, check them out.   They have organic, pasture raised eggs, grass-fed beef, and a ton of organic fruits and vegetables at a fraction of the price.  We still needed to head to Shop Rite to get some things, like seaweed and larabars and snacks for the kids, but Aldi usually has a bulk of what we need.

Sunday Whole 30 Day 6

Talk about energy!  After breakfast I went through all the kids old clothes, and donated three bags of stuff.  I cleaned and organized the pantry, the hallway, the toy room.  I packed up all the Christmas stuff.  I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.

I basically forgot about eating all day, and didn’t have anything made for dinner so we had deli meat roll ups in romaine lettuce. I think I may have had a few hard-boiled eggs and cucumber for lunch, maybe.  I passed out on the couch at like seven-thirty.

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Monday Whole 30 Day 7

Yesterday was a crazy day.  The kids were cranky, so cranky.  I’m guessing it’s cabin fever, because they were bananas.  They’re normally so good, that I can’t really complain.  And they are just crazy cute!

I was feeling a bit moody, but I don’t know if it was all the whines and cries or if it was more food related.  I was also dying for something sweet, and I’m glad I picked up a larabar.

I had to make a bunch of stuff for the week that we had run out of, like mayo, bbq sauce, salad dressing and the sauce for our dinner last night.  We had fish tacos, and my husband loved them.  It’s always awesome when something gets his full stamp of approval!

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