A Cooking Show for REAL MOMS: Resourceful Recipes

I am a very patient person but there are 3 things in this world that I lack patience for, golf, adult tantrums, and extensive recipes!

For as long as I can remember I have never been fond of recipes with a long list of ingredients, steps, or worse, both! In high school I even managed to get a C in home economics because I grabbed another student’s meat instead of my own for the final exam. Why? Simple, I was focusing on the length of the recipe and not the students assigned name at the top of each recipe. Turns out the one assigned to me was 12 steps but the recipe I completed was a mere 6. I thought it was just smart economics to select the one that required the least amount of ingredients and time to prep, sadly the teacher disagreed with my logic.

My impatience for long recipes only exacerbated when I became a mother. I have tried to seek help via cooking shows. I watched Martha Stewart, bad idea. All that did was send me into a full on adult tantrum….I was literally yelling at the screen, “Shut up Martha! It isn’t easy! You have 20 assistants helping you, of course it is SIMPLE for you!!! Where are my assistants?!” Then I heard about Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals and hope was restored but short lived. It still wasn’t practical for where I am right now in my life. Can’t anyone relate to the madness that encompasses moms at dinner time!?

The only cooking show I can think of that the host has a lot of kids is The Pioneer Woman. Now I adore Ree but in all her shows her kids are off doing something while she cooks…then they join in the end. That is great and all but not practical. Why can’t they come up with a cooking show for REAL MOMS!? You know one where mid-sentence the host’s child yells downstairs, “I need you to wipe my butt”, while another child scream in frustration, “I don’t get this story problem! Grrr!!”, neighbor yells into the window “your dog got out”, husband calls from out of town, and yet dinner must go on!! Where is that show?

If I had the means I would start a cooking show called Resourceful Recipes for REAL Moms!! Where you would see REAL life…like this impromptu Nerf War battle that broke out while I prepared dinner…..

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And you would receive simple resourceful recipes like this one because ain’t no one got time for 16 ingredients & 11 STEPS!!

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Salmon in a Lemon Butter Bath served with Roasted Broccoli

Main Dish: Salmon (great source of healthy fats and protein)

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large salmon filet from Costco
  • 8 tsp Kerrygold butter (grass-fed)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame Dill Seafood Seasoning (Rodelle)
  • Seaweed wraps (optional)

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Makes 12 servings

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the salmon in a 13 x 9 inch glass dish.
  3. Place butter in center, pour lemon juice over salmon, and shake seasoning evenly around filet.
  4. Place in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. The salmon should flake easily with a fork when fully cooked.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for 10 minutes.

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Cut into serving sizes, roughly 12.

Serve salmon with 5 seaweed wraps, place a spoonful of salmon in the center of the wrap, roll it up & enjoy! (This is entirely optional, just something I enjoy and figured I would share in case others are interested).

Side: Broccoli (great source of fiber!)

Ingredients:

  • One bag of frozen Broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Himalayan Pink salt

Directions:

  1. Place broccoli on roasting sheet, drizzle broccoli with olive oil, shake salt (to preference) evenly over broccoli.
  2. Place in oven with filet for 30 minutes…should be slightly roasted.
  3. Remove and serve!

 

Make certain you place leftover Salmon in a container; you will need it for future meals. Like lunch and even breakfast (that’s right, we do leftovers from dinner for breakfast….think outside the cereal box!).

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Now that is what I call a resourceful recipe! Do you have a resourceful recipe, something simple, easy, short, a recipe that you can make once yet eat 3 times? Please share.

 

 

 

 

Removing this one thing made my life SO much better!

How is the quality of your life? Do you exhibit brain fog? Do you have enough energy to play with your kids/grandchildren? Are you always hungry? Are you always tired? Are you easily irritable? Do you want a solution? What if I told you that you could cure these ailments and feel amazing?

I have been on a journey back to a healthy lifestyle for the past 9 months. And I am happy to report that the brain fog has officially lifted, my skin has cleared up, I have more energy than ever, I don’t need coffee in the morning or afternoon, I no longer crash around 2pm, I don’t crave sugars or carbs, my appetite has been curbed, oh, and added bonus, I have lost 12 pounds!! I feel amazing! This is the way I believe God intended us to feel so that we can actually enjoy our lives, to thrive! And the best part, I can still eat the foods I enjoy, chocolate pudding, peanut butter cups, fudge, butter, bacon, etc.!

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And I don’t have to work out every day…in fact I only work out 3 times a week, for 20 minutes or less.

I will start at the beginning of my journey….my initial pursuit was to remove the brain fog, think more clearly, not be as agitated and irritable.

STEP ONE: I REMOVED the SUGAR!!

Did you know Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine!! (Source) The addiction is REAL folks! And sadly it is in EVERYTHING! We all know soda and candy has sugar, but did you know it can be found in foods marketed as “healthy”, like oatmeal, yogurt, bread, soup, etc. Our food supply has been altered so much! Fat has gotten such a bad rap; manufacturers have removed fat and increased sugar immensely! Too much fructose shuts down the part of your brain that tells you when you’re full, so what do you do, eat more sugar just to get that feeling of being satiated.

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IMAGE http://www.diabetesinc.net/chart-for-sugar-content-in-foods/

This first step, removing the sugar, is the toughest step and one you will want to do slowly. I do not advice going cold turkey. If you go cold turkey you will have horrible withdrawals, headaches, stomach aches, irritability. Sugar is like a drug and after we consume a certain amount we need that same amount every day just to feel “normal”. So I advice taking it one day at a time, it took me weeks to get through this step.

Tips to wean your family off sugar:

  • Don’t bring it in the house! Stop buying the big sugar items like soda, cookies, desserts, etc. If those toxic items are not in the house then you & your family will not consume them.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store….the produce, meat, cheese, poultry areas, avoid the isles filled with temptations.
  • Look at your LABELS! Manufacturers have gotten sneaky; always double check the serving size! The nutritional facts might indicate that there is only 2g of sugar but look at that serving size, do you honestly only consume that serving size?
  • Keep a FOOD Journal. Write down what you are eating & how much sugar you are consuming each day then after a week reevaluate the consumption and determine where you can cut sugar the following week. Don’t obsess, only review once a week….the idea is to start a new lifestyle not diet fad….and to do so you need to go easy on yourself, it must be practical!
  • Focus on adjusting just one meal a month. I found it helpful to start with breakfast. It was amazing how much better I felt and the children acted when I didn’t fuel our brain with fructose. Click here to read about the day I Killed Cereal.

So how much sugar should you consume?

The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about 26g per day for women and 36g per day for men). Source

It is also important to remember that not ALL calories are created equal. But that is something I will discuss at a later date.

I lost my grandmother due to complications from diabetes, she was only 63! She got robbed of her life. Sadly I fear that there are so many friends and family heading in the same direction if we don’t take control. The research is mounting when it comes to the connections between sugar and Alzheimer as well as Cancer. They have found insulin receptors on cancer cells….sugar feeds tumors! (Source)

 

I am happy to say that I am no longer sugar dependent!! I will admit it wasn’t an easy road but one I am glad I went down and conquered. And you can too!!

I know what your thinking, “but she was eating chocolate pudding”!? And I promise you can too…I will share STEP 2 next week.

In case you have a lot of sugar on your hands, I will let you know that I have found a place for sugar in my life, I use it as a scrub in the shower…it is a FABULOUS exfoliator! Just an FYI….1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons olive oil.

Please share your thoughts and concerns in the comments. Did you realize sugar is practically added to everything these days? What are your thoughts? What do you currently consume for breakfast? What sweet will be the most difficult for you to give up?

Resources:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign

http://abc13.com/health/study-sugar-is-as-addictive-as-cocaine/533979/

http://vivo.med.cornell.edu/display/cwid-lec2014

http://www.realnatural.org/refined-sugar-promotes-cancer/

 

Low-Carb Cookouts & Tailgating!

When you think cookouts, grilling, or tailgating what comes to mind, the classics…hotdog, hamburger, chips & salsa, potato chips, etc.? Well this Labor Day we kissed tradition goodbye. We threw caution to the wind. We went where no man wants to go. We went bun free!!! That’s right; we opted for a low-carb adventure!! I planned ahead, I had my low-carb trip-tik in hand, all hotdog and hamburger buns were officially sent packing, and chips were given the cold shoulder. And I am so glad we did, it was such a glorious adventure, the crispness, the textures, the layers of utter deliciousness, where so apparent without the measly buns to distract the taste buds!

So what was on the menu?

LOWCARBRibbet collage

Appetizers:

Savor the Dates; Date infused with a Walnut & Wrapped in Bacon (makes 24)

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Ingredients:

24 pitted dates

24 walnuts

12 slices of Bacon halved

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Directions:

  1. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Place walnut inside each date
  4. Then wrap each with a ½ slice of the bacon & place on parchment paper
  5. Bake for 15 minutes
  6. Let cook for at least 5 minutes then enjoy! Savor every bite. Close your eyes and take note of the texture, the crispy edges of the bacon, the softness of the date, the beautiful combination of savory & sweet…really Savor the Date!

 

Mini Peppers slathered with Wholly Guacamole & Salsa (makes 40)

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Ingredients:

20 mini-peppers

I used Wholly Guacamole (I purchased the individual serving sized containers & used 4…Costco, baby!)

Salsa (again I purchase from Costco) but you can find some great recipes for salsa HERE

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Directions:

  1. Cut off top stem and half the mini peppers the long way, clean out all seeds
  2. Slather Guacamole on each
  3. Take a spoon full of salsa and pour on top of the guacamole
  4. Chill in fridge till guest arrive. Or, if you are having a more casual gathering simply slice mini-peppers ahead of time and allow guest to use them like chips and dip in salsa and/or guacamole. Honestly, these taste a million times better than chips…if you are still missing the saltiness of a chip feel free to sprinkle mini peppers with salt before you dip/prepare them for guest. Enjoy the crunch, crispy texture of the pepper, and the best part, they fill you up much faster than chips!!

The Main Event:

Stuffed Roasted Red Peppers (makes 6 halves)

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½ vidalia onion diced

½ container of mushrooms diced

2 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 can Dei Fratelli chili ready diced tomatoes

½ cup water

1 pound of ground meat

3 red peppers

1 container of goat cheese (sliced or crumbled)

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Directions:

  1. Heat frying pan on stovetop at medium/high heat, add butter, Worcestershire sauce, can of chili ready diced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and meat. Cook till onions & mushrooms are tender and meat is fully cooked.
  2. While everything is cooking on the range slice peppers in half and remove all seeds.
  3. Place meat, mushrooms, onions, etc. in each pepper half.
  4. Place a little goat cheese on top of each pepper.
  5. Place stuffed peppers on the grill for roughly 4-5 minutes or until the pepper is tender and cheese starts to melt, but doesn’t burn.
  6. Grab a fork and dig in….but I must warn you, the flavors will have you thinking you are at a 5 star restaurant, not tailgating the big game or in your backyard, remember you’ve been warned!

Accompaniment:

Slawsome Deviled Eggs

Click HERE for recipe

This wasn’t a strict NO CARB event, just low carb & we allowed the carbs where they mattered most, in the beverages!! Because what’s a cookout, BBQ, or tailgating without some brew? And I was secretly stoked to show off our new beverage tub & stand!!

The pièce de résistance…..

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I am obsessed with this beverage tin!! It is great for gatherings with the girls, family cookouts, tailgating (just through the tin in the back of the truck!), etc. Thinking this might become my new go-to Wedding Shower gift….personalize with the couples name, anniversary date, etc. and done! Personalized creations are the best!

 

So, what are you waiting for? Are you up a glorious & delicious low-carb cookout or tailgating party? Know of any awesome recipes that are low-carb that I should try? Please feel free to share.

 

 

Food Yoga: Stretch Your Meals with these SIMPLE Recipes (Paleo/Gluten Free)

Back-to-school means getting back into a routine, having dinner before 10pm, and stretching my recipes!!

It feels so good to be back into a routine. The household just runs so much smoother when we have routine; everyone’s temperament is calmer, more enjoyable, including moms! We are slowly working our way back to a 6:30pm dinner time as opposed to our sporadic summer break schedule where we eat dinner at 5pm one day and 9pm the next. And most importantly back to school means I stretch my recipes so that there is plenty left for the lunchboxes the next day. But let’s be honest, what’s the point in stretching/doubling the recipes if the kids won’t eat it in the first place? Which is why I am sharing this meal with you, not only did the kiddos eat all this up for dinner but they also enjoyed it for breakfast and for lunch the next day! So you can cook once and they eat 3 times, now that’s what I call good time management!

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Crispy Chicken Strips (Serve 8-12)

 

Ingredients:

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips (can usually get 4-6 strips from each breast)

3 eggs

2 cups almond flour

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet

Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk

Place chicken strips in the bowl with the eggs

In separate bowl mix Almond flour, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, & pepper

Remove chicken strips from eggs one at a time and place into dry ingredients bowl, coat chicken with dry ingredients

Remove from dry ingredients and place on parchment paper

Once all the chicken has taken a wet & dry bath and are on the parchment paper place in oven, bake for 20-25 minutes flipping half way. Bake till there is a golden brown coating on the chicken.

 

While chicken is baking why not make some refreshing Cucumber Salad. This is such a simple and refreshing recipe.

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Cucumber Salad (Again, I make a lot, and you will see why….this would easily serve 8-12 people)

Ingredients:

2 large English cucumbers sliced

1 red onion diced

1-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup avocado oil

3-4 twist of the Himalayan pink salt, just to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and place in fridge till mealtime. (My kiddos like it really cold & I usually make it 20 minutes before we eat so I place the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before I toss the ingredient in)

And eveyones favorite, dessert!! This is another really simple recipe that tastes delectable.

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Chocolate Banana Cake (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut oil

4 eggs

½ cup cacao powder

4 bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup maple syrup

Few slices of banana or strawberry to place on top (optional)

Directions:

Dump all ingredients in food processor and mix till everything is blended well and there are no chunks.

Grease round cake pan with coconut oil and pour cake mixture into pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for ½ hour (till it is firm)

Let it cool for a few minutes and then slice!

And this is how I Food Yoga a.k.a. stretch meals!…..

So, that delicious Chocolate Banana Cake we had for dessert also doubles for breakfast the next day. What child is opposed to cake for breakfast!? I like the fact that it is filled with protein, potassium, healthy fat, & the cacao powder is a great antioxidant!

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Remember those crispy chicken strips that I made for dinner? Well, I make 8-12 servings so that we can have them for lunch the next day; they pack easily in the kiddo’s lunch boxes. I usually add a slice of cheese, fruit and veggie…and lunch is packed! Easy breezy!!

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Lastly, remember the cucumber salad? Simply add 1 tomatoes, 1 pepper, and 1 avocados and you have a side for dinner the next day! Voila! And that is how I Food Yoga/Stretch a meal! Do you Food Yoga? Have a favorite recipe? Please feel free to share/add a link to your recipe.

 

 

 

 

Gluten FREE Pizza, that tastes good!? It DOES Exist!!

It has been a LONG difficult week. A trip with the gals to Columbus proved to be a bit more tempting than I had anticipated. Mind you, I did pack healthy food and snacks, which worked at first.  We stopped at Starbucks (I had a cup of dark coffee), The Thurman Café (I had a side salad and boneless chicken wings with no sauce and tried my best to remove the breading), at the concert they had bar type drinks and food (I had water), after the concert I caved a bit, we had munchies back in the room (I had a few M&Ms & Pringles), and then this girl REALLY caved at McDonald’s for breakfast. I ordered the egg white delight and yes, I ate ALL of it, muffin too!! I felt horrible afterward. I had come so far!! The worst part was after I got home I found myself craving carbs!! I NEEDED a pizza, NEEDED!! Crazy, right!? I have found that it is moments like these that we have a very difficult decision. We can either say screw it, and go back to old habits, or forgive ourselves and get back on the healthy eating plan. I decided on the latter but I STILL wanted Pizza!! So I made cauliflower pizza crust! It tasted amazing…like an artisan pizza. But I will tell you truthfully that it took a lot of work & time…at least when compared to a “Hot & Ready” or frozen pizza. If you When you make this I would suggest doubling the recipe so you have some “cauliflower dough” for a future pizza.

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Ingredients:

2 pounds cauliflower

¼ cup feta cheese

1 egg

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

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Directions:

Clean and cut up cauliflower. Place in food processor and pulse till it is the consistency of rice. Fill large put with roughly 1-1/2 inches water and bring to a boil. Place cauliflower in pot, cover with lid, and cook for 5 minutes. Get a strainer, place cheesecloth over strainer, and drain the cauliflower into the cheesecloth.  (Don’t have cheesecloth, improvise…I found this bag that contained limes to be quite useful).  Twist and squeeze out all the water. Place cauliflower in bowl; add 1 beaten egg, cheese, & Italian Seasoning. Mix everything together.  Place parchment paper over cookie sheet. Pour “dough” onto parchment paper, spread dough out and create a crust for the pizza. “Dough” should be 1/3 inch thick. Bake at 400 for 35 minutes or until golden brown around crust. Remove from oven and add toppings.

 

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And now I will answer what I know I was wondering…doesn’t it make you feel WAY gassy? I can confirm that after eating half this pizza (yep, no shame! Haha!) I was not gassy. And no, I did not have to go #2 quickly or a lot. It was damn good though!! Bacon & Feta, nothing better!! What is you favorite pizza topping? Any strange/weird toppings you like?

Road trip + convenience food = THE WORST temptation!

 

As many of you know, I “killed” cereal, as my 7 year old so eloquently expresses, about 11 weeks ago. It hasn’t been the easiest road but the results have sure made it worth it! Since limiting consumption of grains in our diet I have lost 8 pounds and 4 inches around my waste but more importantly I feel SO much better! The foggy feeling has lifted, I have more energy, I feel like I have SO much more patience, peace, I feel more even keeled.  I believe it has something to do with my blood sugar levels, granted, I am not a doctor, but, I can tell you from personal experience that I do not feel that rush of energy & then immediate crash and tiredness that I used to feel when consuming cereal, bread, bagels, basically any grain. They say it takes on average 66 days to develop a new routine.  I fully agree. This path has been a difficult one. It requires SO MUCH SELF CONTROL!!! It is SO hard to pass on pizza when gathered around with friends. To order the salad when all your friends order the gourmet grilled cheese.  To take a delicious Boston Crème pie over to the in-laws and then declared that you will pass on dessert! Oh the despair!! I have successfully gotten over those hurtles. Next hurtle, Road Trip!!

 

When I think road trip I think pit stops, iced lattés, cheese burgers, French fries, Twizzles, yum!!   Just the words, road trip, to me are synonymous with convenience food.   Stopping to use the restroom should be simple but the aroma of Starbucks coffee, those greasy delicious fries, oh the temptations!! In the past we would simply grab a latté, a burger, fries, etc. when we were on the road. It was a pretty simple concept, we wanted something and they provided it. Now that we are grain free and eating healthier the convenience factor is removed. The truth is, if you want to eat healthier more time, energy, effort, and planning needs to go into your nutrition plan.  And yes, it can be a pain, but it is worth it.  So how does one plan for a road trip filled with temptations?

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So, here is what I have packed for a 3-4 hours road trip with kiddos. Mind you, we all get bored in the car and our first inclination to fulfill that boredom is food, is eating! When you pair that with the temptations of the delicious greasy aromas you WILL smell when you make a pit stop to use the restroom, a snack IS necessary! Here are some yummy snacks that I prepared before we hit the road…..

 Strawberries (good source of fiber)

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Celery & cucumbers (mostly water)

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Grapes

Mixed Nuts (protein)

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Cuties

Bananas

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Mind you, those first couple road trips ARE hard. Our brains need to be rewired. We still have those feel good hormones that are released when we smell the grease. It isn’t easy. If you do slip up that is okay. Forgive yourself. Start fresh the next day. Thank goodness God gives us a new 24 hours each day. IT IS HARD but TRUST me, if you stick with it you WILL see results & they are amazing!! You can persevere though the most tempting road trips! You are stronger than you know!

Make it a great one! Drive safely (It isn’t how fast it’s how safe 😉 ) Cheers!!

Traveling with kids? Here are some fun activity ideas to keep them occupied.

 

 

 

Bacon Meatloaf with Dei Fratelli tomatoes! (Gluten Free)

There is something comforting, nostalgic, even welcoming about the aroma of bacon coming from the kitchen. I don’t know if it simply reminds me of my childhood & visits to my grandmother’s house or perhaps it is the anticipation of tasting the crispy goodness?  Either way, it stirs up nothing but pleasant and delicious memories for me. And since we have been sans cereal and I have been cutting back on grains it sure is nice to know that bacon can still be on the menu. So, I have to be honest, I totally worked backwards on this recipe. I knew I wanted bacon for dinner and I had a pound of organic ground beef that needed to be used and that was about it. Haha! My first thought was bacon wrapped meatballs but I wasn’t sure how that would go down with my fam. So I went with my second thought, Bacon Meatloaf! YUM!

 

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Since we are going towards a grain-free gluten-free diet I made a few adjustments to my “usual” recipe.  And it turned out AH-mazingly delicious!!  The bacon helped keep the meatloaf moist and the flavors from the crushed tomatoes, red onions, and seasonings not only satisfied all the taste buds but it left my home smelling just like grandmas!

 

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Bacon Meatloaf with Dei Fratelli

Ingredients:

1-Egg

¼ cup-Cocunut Flour

½ -Red onion diced

½ -tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Dash of salt

1 pound organic ground beef

½ cup Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes

½ package of bacon

 

 

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Directions:

  1. Mix everything except the bacon in a bowl…I often use my hands to mix it up well…and yes, I wash my hand thoroughly first. 😉 Then place in a 9X9 oven safe dish (I used a glass one).
  2. Slice bacon in half and place over meat so that it is entirely covered bacon. Have fun with it…basket weave it, crisscross, etc.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes
  4. Enjoy!

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I was talking to a friend the other day about this recipe and she asked if I included a hardboiled egg and I was shocked. My immediate answer was no!? Has anyone ever had meatloaf with boiled eggs down the center? If so, is it good?

Avocado Willpower Pudding!

When trying to establish healthier eating habits the most difficult part, at least for me, is coming in contact with SO MANY temptations! I had a run-in with one last weekend and it was a doozy!

We were at a graduation party and they were serving one of those AH-mazing Costco cakes.  You know the chocolate cake with the chocolate mousse in the center & chocolate frosting on top!! SO. GOOD.  I actually caught myself drooling as I walked past it, inhaling all that sugary chocolate goodness! I was heartbroken. I felt as though I had just seen a long lost friend and then I gave them the cold shoulder….how could I!?! But I was also very impressed with my willpower. But I will be the first to tell you that willpower doesn’t satisfy the sweet tooth. Willpower doesn’t have the perfectly smooth frosting texture and airy chocolate mousse filling that I so desperately longed for! Oh the despair!!

After eating a bunch of healthy crap I found myself still dreaming of that smooth, rich, chocolate, decadent Costco cake. And I would have run to Costco if it wasn’t already closed for the day. So I hit up the fridge, I was in the zone! Here is what I came up with….

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1 large banana

 1-1/2 avocado (great BRAIN food!)

½ cup honey

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup almond butter

1/3 cup almond milk

Optional: walnuts to top pudding with

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Instructions: Blend everything together. I started with the avocados and bananas then slowly added the rest of the ingredients. If you have time to refrigerate it tastes so much better cold, but, if you NEED that chocolate fix right away, grab a spoon! Then refrigerate the rest.

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Do tell, have you ever been caught off guard by a delicious dessert? How do you maintain your willpower? Do you have a healthier go-to version of the dessert? Please share.

Let’s Talk Salsa! (Giveaway)

May is national Salsa month! Woo-hoo! I don’t know about your family but salsa is a staple in our family, it is right up there with eggs and coffee (coffee being #1, eggs #2, and salsa #3…although, what’s the point of having eggs if there is no salsa? Right!? So, let’s make that salsa #2 and eggs #3).  

Salsa tastes amazing on everything or simply by itself. There is no shame in standing in front of the fridge with the doors open sneaking a spoonful of salsa. All I ask is that you be respectful of others & plan ahead, if you want 3 spoonsful then grab 3 spoons, don’t use the same spoon each time.  

Salsa is like a magic potion that can transform the worst dishes into something spectacular. I can’t tell you how many times I have just royally messed up dinner, undercooked, overcooked, burnt it, seasoned it with the wrong seasoning, you name it and I have probably done it, but thankfully salsa saves dinner every time! So, if for no other reason, have salsa on hand for the next time you burn dinner…just keep it right next to your fire extinguisher. Haha!

My latest salsa obsession….salsa in a baked avocado! It taste amazing! Thanks Floating Kitchen for the inspiration…and this pic, this is her delicious meal…mine burnt. No need to worry, the salsa saved the meal but it didn’t look as beautiful as hers. You seriously have to try this!! I also like my avocados with a huge heaping spoonful of Dei Fratelli seasoned diced Tomatoes…bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, remove, & drizzle with balsamic vinegar, so good!!!!  Just make certain you set your timer. 😉

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Here are some fun facts about salsa:

  • Salsa dates back to the ancient Aztecs, as early as 5200 B.C., where they would combine chili peppers and tomatoes into a sauce and serve with meat.
  • The hottest salsa reigns in more than one million Scoville Heat Units (SHU) compared to a Tabasco sauce, which only brings in 2,500-5,000 SHU.
  • Chili pepper-based salsas contain capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation!
  • Many salsas are tomato based, which mean they contain lycopene that has heart-protecting properties!

There are so many different types of salsas, Chili, Cherry, Corn, Mango, Black Bean, etc. it is fascinating! But sometimes the very best is the kind you make together as a family. Here is a great recipe to try with yours….the Dei Fratelli Secret Salsa. The secret is the Dei Fratelli Chopped Mexican Tomatoes & Jalapenos which add the perfect kick! (shhh)

Secret Salsa recipe

Ingredients:

2 cans Dei Fratelli Chopped Mexican Tomatoes & Jalapeños

5 – 8 Roma tomatoes

2 – 3 bunches Green onions, chopped

1 – 2 Red sweet onions, chopped

1 Lime

1 bunch Fresh cilantro, chopped

1 clove Fresh garlic, minced

1 small Jalapeño

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients except lime, cilantro, salt, and pepper and jalapeno in a blow. Add cilantro last and salt and pepper to taste. Cut the ends of the jalapeno and leave whole in the bowl. Salsa tastes best if it has a few hours to mix flavors in the refrigerator before it is served. Serves 6-8.

Don’t have time to wait for those flavors to marinate? Don’t worry, Dei Fratelli to the rescue!! Dei Fratelli has 2 different salsa options. The Original Salsa Medium and Original Salsa Mild. Salsa Medium boasts exceptional flavors of their vine-ripened tomatoes and jalapeno peppers boost the zest level of the original salsa. The flavor is perfected with an ideal blend of only the best peppers, onions, and garlic. The Original Mild Salsa consist of sturdy diced tomatoes that add more body and a delightful flavor that transforms everyday to perfection with just the right amount of peppers, onions, and garlic. Both taste amazing! but don’t take my word for it! You can get your hands on your own bottle at your local Publix, Harris Teeter, Piggly Wiggly, and Wal-Mart stores. And be sure to enter the giveaway!!!

Dei Fratelli Giveaway!

deifratelliOh the possibilities!! Salsa, their AH-mazing pizza sauce (my kids will only eat the Dei Fratelli pizza sauce when we make pizzas…I have created monsters! Haha!), unbelievably delish spaghetti sauce, the diced can tomatoes taste so fresh I have used them in place of  tomatoes in some recipes (why waste all that time washing and dicing when Dei Fratelli did it for me, no brainer!?), and the tomato sauce, Italian sauce, and crushed tomatoes have been really helpful and accommodate our new and improved healthy eating lifestyle. ALL this could be yours!

How to enter the giveaway:

1-Like Mom on the go in Holy Toledo on Facebook

2-Follow @mamaof3onthego on Twitter

3-Follow Dei Fratelli on Instagram (if you have an account)

4-Like Dei Fratelli on Facebook

5- Follow Dei Fratelli on Twitter

6- Comment stating what your favorite type of salsa is….black bean, corn, mango, traditional, etc.

Winner will be randomly selected June 8th @11:59pm and posted here June 9th

Good luck and thank you for your time!

Cheers!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flower Power at the Farmers Market!!

This weekend is Flower Days Weekend at the Farmer’s Market!! Finally!!! This marks a HUGE milestone for us Midwesterners, no more frost! Oh the power of those flowers, people come two by two, with their four-legged friends, strollers, wagons, etc. to get their hands on the perfect flowers! The flowers might be the power that gets you there but it’s the food, the Flying Rhino coffee, Holey Toledough Doughnuts (FYI-if you want a doughnut get there early!), face painting, the running into family & friends, the sense of community that will having you stay!

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I told my husband that the girls and I were buying flowers so naturally my first stop would be to buy some honey. lol!  I heard that if you use organic local honey it is supposed to help with allergies. And we have some peeps with allergies in our household so it just made sense, right!? And just look at that golden sweetness…okay, so maybe I let my sweet tooth make that purchase. Trust me, my entire family will be thanking me tomorrow at breakfast. 😉

One impulse buy down and the potential for a second was looking promising.  It is not my fault, it is all these talented peeps we have in Toledo’s fault. (Totally rationalized that!) But seriously, we really do have so many talented individuals in Toledo and the surrounding area….growers, jewelers, bakers, etc. it is fascinating! And it feels so good when we support one another. But back to the initial task at hand…. 

There were so many flowers it was absolutely breathtaking! The girls finally decided on a beautiful combination of marigolds…for a price that couldn’t be beat! (great deals!!)

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Then we were off to our next impulse purchase. After walking through the Farmers Market and smelling them the entire time, these quickly became a necessity, French fries! I am fairly certain making your children smell those fresh cut French fried goodness and then not letting them taste one might fall under the realms of child abuse. Lol! So we noshed on our fresh cut fries and enjoyed some music!

 

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Then we headed home to plant our beautiful flowers!

 

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Ahhh, it is fascinating what a little flower power can do….it can bring the community together, inspire a bonding opportunity with loved ones, and brighten up even the dreariest of yards!

 

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So what kind of flowers are you planting this year?