School Lunches

School Lunches – Week 4

Another week in the books for school lunches. For me, school lunches are a great way to finish up leftovers. Makes menu planning and prepping a breeze. It is also a way to have your kiddos help out if they are old enough. I keep my weekly menu board up in the pantry. Olivia, my daughter, loves helping out in the kitchen. When she is done getting ready for school she will step in and see what needs to be done for school snacks and lunches while I am making breakfast. She can look at the board and start going to town putting everything together. It helps me out, and gets them excited to help pack lunches and snack bags.

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Week 4 meals were kind of a mixture of odds and ends left in the fridge. I have emergency protein on hand if we go through more of dinner than what I had planned. One of my favorite things to have on hand is Wallace Farms Nick Sticks. They make great snacks, after workout protein, and easy to cut up and throw into lunches! Here is a break down of what my kiddos enjoyed eating this week!

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Monday: Hard Boiled Egg, buffalo chicken, lettuce wedges, mango, and cheese stick.
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Tuesday: Hard Boiled Egg, Jello, Pickles, mango, and Lettuce Wrap Ham Rolls. Ham roll: guac, goad gouda cheese, carrot slices, and uncured ham slices.
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Wednesday: Pulled Pork with Frank’s Red Hot, Lettuce wedges, Celery and Sunbutter, White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt with Raw Honey and Strawberries, and Green Beans.
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Thursday: Plantain Chips, Uncured Hotdogs, White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt with Raw Honey, Grapes, Carrots, and Pickle.
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Friday: Wallace Farm Nick Sticks, Carrots, Plantain Chips, Apple Slices, and Cheese Stick.

Another great week of healthy, wholesome school lunches. Providing nutritious food for growing bodies. Living life one day at a time!

 

Enjoy ūüôā

Clean Eating

5 Ingredient Breakfast Casserole

Switching up my normal breakfast routine and throwing in a breakfast casserole. It also makes for great leftovers during the week if I get lucky enough. ¬†The kiddos tend to gobble this up and only save maybe 3 servings. This 5 ingredient breakfast is super easy to make and of course some good ol’ Franks Red Hot on top to make it complete!

 

Ingredients:

  1. 4 Russet Potatoes – Spiralized
  2. 6 Eggs
  3. Raw Milk Cheese
  4. 1 lb cooked ground pork ( seasoned with salt/pepper, garlic, and ground fennel seed)
  5. Optional -crumble cooked bacon on top

Step by Step

  • Spray 13X12 glass dish¬†with EVOO
  • Spiralize the russet potatoes, cut strings in half, and set asideimg_0722
  • Cook the ground pork and season with salt/pepper, garlic, and fennel seed.
  • Layer 3 shredded potatoes on bottom of panimg_0720
  • Shred some raw milk cheese on topimg_0721
  • Layer cooked pork on top of potatoes
  • Layer last shredded potato on top of pork
  • Mix 6 eggs and raw milk cheese together
  • Pour egg mixture on top of last potatoimg_0725
  • If using bacon add on top of egg mixture
  • Cover with parchment paper and cook in oven at 350 degrees for 55 minutesimg_0727
  • Remove parchment paper and cooke for another 5-10 minutesimg_0728
  • Serve warm! Don’t forget to add some Frank’s Red Hot.img_0729

** I have also used organic ground turkey in place of the ground pork

 

Gobble up and Enjoy!

Clean Eating

Tuna Salad

Wow it has been awhile since I have posted. I have been compiling my blog post, but haven’t blocked out the time to post them. With the school year in full force, it has been crazier then what I expected. Dropping kiddos off at two different schools and then taking my youngest back four days a week in the afternoon for speech/language class has me on my toes. Plus Rob and I both training for triathlons coming up makes it hectic right now, but I am loving every minute of it. So I am trying to dedicate more time to my blogging!

With things keeping me busy I need something I can easily grab quickly and eat on the go if needed. There are times I am working out right up until I have to go pick up the youngest ¬†two in the morning. I don’t like to wait until I get back home before I get something into my body to eat after working out. So lately it has been tuna salad. I eat it with plantain chips, apples, celery, or cucumbers. It is refreshing and hits the spot every time!

I make my own mayo that you can find here. Feel free to substitute with a healthy store bought one too.

TUNA SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of tuna ( I like Wild Albacore Tuna that I get from Costco)
  • Chop fresh onion or a handful of shakes of dried chopped onion
  • 1 tsp of ground fennel ( I use whole seed and ground in a pepper shaker)
  • Himalayan salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of mayo

Directions:

  1. Empty tuna into bowl and break up with a fork
  2. Add seasonings and mix in
  3. Add the mayo and mix until combined

Serve with apples, plantain chips, celery sticks, or put make a cucumber sandwich.

Enjoy!

 

Clean Eating, snacks

Wholly Granola – On the Run

Wow where has the time gone. This summer has been keeping me busy, so my blog post have been a little more spaced out for now. With summer off and running and vacations on the agenda I like to share one of my favorite granola recipes. We use this in place of buying store bought cereal. When we travel I tend to pack the majority of my food. This is cost effective for my family and provides us with good clean eating food always on hand. Traveling back home is almost a 24 hour road trip. Therefore, I need to have meal ready to go and easy to prepare on the road. Breakfast then is yogurt topped with this homemade granola, mixed fresher fruit, and banana muffins. This makes it easy to eat in the car and something the whole family enjoys. My kiddos can tolerate organic whole milk yogurt or even greek yogurt. I could tolerate dairy in small quantities, but due to recently finding out I have MTHFR (Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) I have decided to go completely dairy-free except for the occasional goat milk items.  I will be sharing more of my story at a later date. For now lets get down to some granola making business!

Grab your mixture of nuts and start chopping away.

Now add in the rest of the dry ingredients: ground flax seed, shredded coconut, raisins, dried blueberries, cinnamon, and himalayan salt. Then stir!

Combined wet ingredients and then warm in saucepan just until melted. I picked this pineapple juice at Trader Joes.IMG_0692

Pour wet ingredients into the dry nut mixture and stir until evenly coated. Make sure the “granola” nut mixture is really coated.IMG_0693

Line pan with parchment paper and heat oven to 300 degrees. Cook for about 45-60 minutes staring every 10 minutes or so. Oh and your house will smell amazingly!

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Just before going into the oven.

Granola is done when most of the moisture is gone and nuts start to brown. Let cool and ENJOY!

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Out of the oven

 

Granola- Paleo Style

Dry Mixture

  • 1 1/4 cup of raw pecans
  • 1 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 10 oz bag¬†macadamia nuts
  • 1/3 c ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • sprinkle of himalayan salt
  • 1 heaping tsp of cinnamon

Liquid Mixture

  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
(Can use any variation of nuts you prefer. I also like to add in brazil nuts into the mix too)
(Can also add or substitute different dried fruit)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. The nuts that need to be chopped up use a hand chopper to chop. I have tried using a food processor, but don’t like it because it chops them too fine for me. Chop nuts¬†until you have a¬†granola¬†like consistency. I buy some of my nuts in pieces so I don’t have to chop them ahead of time.
  3. Add in the dry fruit and shredded coconut to the mix nuts
  4. Add in himalayan salt and cinnamon to nut mixture and stir.
  5. In a small pot melt and mix together the coconut oil, honey, pineapple juice, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon.
  6. Add the liquid mixture to the fruit/nut mixture¬†and coat the¬†“granola” really well.
  7. Place granola on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 45 Р60 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes until done. * Key here to cook on low heat and slowly as to not burn the nuts and coconut.
  8. Let cool and store in airtight container.

It is great to serve with almond milk as a “cereal” or served with yogurt as a topping. This is the yogurt I enjoyed with my granola for breakfast! ¬†As I am thinking of it, I bet this would taste amazing in my Acai Bowl.¬†IMG_0695

About Me, Clean Eating

Food Intolerances

More and more restaurants these days are making accommodations to their menus to support those with food intolerance/allergies. For that I am thankful. I do like to go out from time to time with my hubby and enjoy a date night. ¬†For the most part I know what restaurants are a go and which ones are not. I make the same considerations when¬†it goes for eating at¬†friends and family houses too. Usually I pack our meals so we can still enjoy time with friends, or just know we take a¬†risk of being cross-contaminated. It isn’t the end of the world and I know it is only temporary. It is bound to happen from time to time, and because of¬†that I don’t let it control my life. I eat fairly clean; not always PERFECT, but I try to be close. I feel like I know my body well and I am happy for that. I know I face some food intolerances, one for sure being gluten. Although it is hard to test at this point so I do avoid it. The test for celiacs would be most accurate if you are already eating gluten while running the test. Since I avoid it, the test wouldn’t be necessarily accurate for me. I also know dairy¬†is also on my avoid list as I tend to break out in acne; although I can handle goat cheese and raw milk cheese in moderation.

Just like working out makes me feel amazing, so does the food I put into my body. With over four years of doing a food elimination diet and monitoring the foods I eat, I have a good sense how my body will react to the foods I eat. Which plays into my clean eating diet. I am not a “health nut” but I do eat to fuel my body. Don’t get me wrong, I do struggle from time to time with emotional eating. Even though my emotional eating consists of healthier foods, eating anything in extreme excess isn’t healthy. So I try to incorporate yoga or earlier bed times when I know I may be under some stress. It is progress, not perfection!

So I am sharing today a picture of me and how my body reacts to foods I am intolerant to. I am not 100% sure what I was exposed to, but this typically happens when I am exposed to gluten. I get extremely bloated almost to the point where my stomach is pretty solid. I usually have a delayed reaction of about 24 hours before symptoms take. Although, sometimes my symptoms will be same day. These pictures are about 10 days apart. These are not exaggerated, but wanted to share something I personally struggle with. IMG_0551

It is always important to listen to your body and you will be happy for it in the long run. I have to do what is best for me and my body. I am responsible to nurturing the body the good Lord gave me.  Living with purpose in this journey called LIFE!

Clean Eating

Cast Iron Chicken Dinner

Having a cast iron is a must in my house. I have three 12inch cast iron skillets and two 6.5inch cast iron skillets. I have cooked several dishes in them, baked desserts, and even take them camping with us! Bonus, they are super easy to clean with just hot water.

Tonight it’s Chicken Dinner. Quick and easy meal to throw together and make. I used bone-in chicken thighs and coated them with Kerrygold Butter, mustard, salt/pepper, and sage seasoning. Make sure you get under the skin too. You can certainly season them however you like. Couple of ways I have done them are: avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Butter, salt, pepper, and garlic. Be creative!

Place chicken thighs in cast iron skillet, and cook in oven. I used 2 cast irons and made 8 chicken thighs. Cook at 425 degrees until chicken temps at 165 degrees (approx 45-50 minutes). I also cooked my cauliflower pop at the same time. Set those aside to rest.

Next I microwaved my sweet potatoes and russet potatoes in my Pampered Chef round cover baker for approx. 6 minutes. Remember to poke your potatoes before cooking. I miss my double oven because I would have otherwise cooked my potatoes in the oven at the same time as well.IMG_0263

While the chicken was cooking in the oven, fired up the grill and made grilled veggies and chicken wings since I was already meal prepping for the week. Otherwise you could do this whole meal on the grill too!

I lightly drizzle avocado oil on top of the raw zucchini, carrot, and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in grill veggie rack. Grill up until zucchini is done. About 3 minutes and stir. Then cook for about 2 more minutes. I like my veggies a little crunch still, if you don’t then cook them a little longer.IMG_7979

You can easily warm up leftovers in the cast iron on the stove or oven the next day.

Enjoy this delicious wholesome dish.

Clean Eating

Homemade Mayo

One condiment I love having around is mayo, and I love that I can make it myself. This basic recipe can also be used to to make dips by adding in different seasonings, and dressings like honey mustard dressing.  I use this mayo to make chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, and broccoli cold slaw.

I have tried several different versions of homemade mayo,¬†but this is the best one and it includes a video tutorial for making your own. You can find it here along with Nom Nom Paleo’s¬†video. I have had the best results with using an immersion blender.

 

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1 egg yolk (I save egg white and throw in with my scrambled eggs), 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp water, pour in avocado oil up to 1 cup mark.

Use immersion blender ( I got mine here) until blended. About 3-5 minutes.IMG_0109

When it is done, it will be thick like mayo.IMG_0108

I just leave mine in the fridge until I am ready to use it. My mayo last 1 week past the expiration date of the egg.

When making tuna salad, egg salad, or chicken salad I mix in the seasonings I want to use into some mayo and then mix into the salad. I always start with a small amount of mayo as I can always stir in more to my liking.

I also like to make honey mustard dressing. Kiddos enjoy it with their chicken. Sometimes I add it on top of salads too. It is not as thick as normal honey mustard though, but I am ok with that.

Start with 1/4-1/2 cup of homemade mayo. Add in 2Tbsp each of mustard and raw honey. Add in 1 Tbsp of vinegar.

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Whisk it all together.IMG_0106

Then serve up or store in fridge. Mine last for a about a week sometimes longer.IMG_0105

So what are you waiting for???  STOP buying mayo and START making your own!

 

 

 

Clean Eating, snacks

My go to snack right now-LARABAR

When I think of a snack for myself, I think of something quick and satisfying. As I have discussed before I enjoy snacking on LARABAR. An enjoyable fruit and nut bar. I am a busy and active momma. I usually have them in my purse or hiking bag. Having food in my purse is a must. If I am out running errands and it took longer then expected (which is common) I know I have something healthy to snack on to hold me over until I get home. It beats picking up junk food while out and about. I have pretty much tried every LARABAR! Our go to LARABARs¬†are: blueberry muffin, key lime pie, lemon bar, apple pie, carrot cake, cashew cookie, and mint chip brownie (target only). Phew! I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them really!

I like to get creative with my LARABARs. I crumble them up on top of yogurt, crumble them up on top of my Acai Bowls. If you haven’t tried Acai Bowls you must. Check out my recipe I made here. Now my new obsession is topping them with nut butter. Specifically, Barney Butter Smoothed Almond Butter, or Barney Butter Cocoa & Coconut. It has put a new twist on my favorite snack. ¬†One of my favorites is Cashew Cookie Larabar with Smooth Barney Butter Almond Butter. I totally did the happy dance at Costco this past weekend because they had a box of cashew cookie and apple pie¬†18ct combo box for $14.99 plus another¬†$4 off! I usually get them at my local Sprouts because they are between $0.88-$1.00 a piece.

Yes you can say I am a LARABAR-aholic. I now need to go and try the Larabar Organic with Superfoods. I have been eyeing the Tumeric, Ginger, and Beet combo since I love me some ginger.

Now get to snacking and don’t forget to be healthy and creative!

Clean Eating

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Sunday mornings remind me of my time with my own family growing up. It was a day dedicated to our Lord and family time together. Mass together as a family, a morning drive, and even sometimes a breakfast out together. I strive for the same tradition in my family. It is usually a warm breakfast, church, and family time. The family time could be a drive, hike, games, or outdoor fun just depends on what we are in the mood to do.

I have been allowing myself a limited amount of dairy from time to time. Although, I have officially cut it out for good this past week after having a reaction to it. So I have been on the look out for something that I can still enjoy that is cold and refreshing. I have been wanting to try an acai bowl for some time now because they just look delicious. I think of of acai bowl as a thick smoothie that has endless toppings. This weekend I made Rob and I one, and I can just say I am hook ( the kiddos had our normal smoothies). I made one and split it in 2 for us. It was just enough and hit the spot. It is a little rich in taste but refreshing at the same time. I am sharing how I made mine with you all today!

Lets start with my warm breakfast of sausage, scrambled eggs, and potatoes. I sliced up some Aidells chicken and apples sausages I picked up from Costco this weekend. Giving myself a break (break on the budget too)  from the organic Kiolbassa sausage I was getting. This is a clean, healthy alternative for me.

I sliced up some sweet potatoes and scrambled our favorite eggs we get from Costco.

Served it up with fresh cherries and blueberries. Made a delicious fruit and greens smoothies for the kiddos.IMG_0448

Then I dove in and made an acai bowl for Rob and I .

Acai Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 packet of Sambazon Acai Berry Original Blend superfruit pack.
  • 1/2 packet of Organic Fresh Start smoothie blend (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, kale, and spinach) – I used the other half in the kiddos smoothies.
  • 1 scoop of Dr. Mercola Organic Greens
  • 2 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 banana – saved other half to cut up for toppings

Semi thaw Acai berry pack under warm running water just to break it up. Place in blender and blend it up.IMG_0445

Throw in the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. It will be a little thick since I am making a bowl and not a smoothie. If you want a smoothie then add in 1/2 cup non-dairy milk instead of 1/4.

Separate into 2 bowls and top with your desired toppings! I topped mine with shredded coconut, chia seeds, sliced bananas, and pecans. Rob added 3 Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips just because! Seriously so YUMMY!IMG_0455

Enjoyed a great breakfast and day with my family.

 

Clean Eating, Menu Planning, snacks

Weekly Menu for May 21-27

It is that time again to plan for weekly meals and grocery shop. Right now my meal plans are running Saturday thru Friday with the following Saturday being my grocery shopping day and meal prep. It worked out perfect for me this week!

I have been dedicating myself to a new goal of waking up early (5am) and getting my workout in and daily prayer. So far it has been a great goal for me. I am enjoying my workouts with the hubby as well as some time to spend in prayer before the day gets busy. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the ability to dive into my day. It has helped with my sleep quality too. The weekends are no different. I was up and ready to go. I did my menu planning the day before so I just had to plug in my groceries into my Wunderlist App and away I went. If you haven’t check out this app yet you really should!

I took one of my older daughters with me this morning. She was a great helper. I really enjoy getting my kiddos involved in planning, shopping, preparing of our food. We rocked it; 3 stores in 2 1/2 hours! Really shorter than that since Trader Joes is at about 30 minutes in just driving one way. Van full of great clean, wholesome food! Oh and plus couldn’t forget the Traeger pellets so we can smoke the brisket we picked up. ¬†IMG_0456

We unloaded the van when we got home, grabbed a quick snack and got to work. Here is our menu for the week.Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 11.17.31 PM

My older girls were in charge of preparing and making all snacks. This menu that included Mini Banana Muffins, Jello (Against All Grain), Sunbutter Balls, and Chocolate Avocado Pudding (Delighted Momma). I included the links for the recipes I use.

There you have it, happy menu planning or feel free to use mine! I am ready to get this week start. Remember keep it simple…Keep it clean.