Sunday Cookup 2: Alarm Clock Blues

My ‘practice’ week of going back to work is over and tomorrow is the first day of school.  The one part I’m not excited about is setting the alarm for dark o’clock.  Hopefully the breakfast I prepped is exciting enough to drag myself out of bed before dawn.

Breakfast: Turkey, Kale and Blueberry Muffins

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The recipe yields 12, but 8 fit quite nicely in this container.

I used this recipe, omitting the sage because I don’t have any and swapping coconut flour for arrowroot powder because that’s what I have.  I also added 1/2 bag of frozen kale to the mix.  Something about a veggie-packed breakfast sets the tone for the whole day.  The kale added a lot of wetness to the mix so I left out the coconut milk.

Lunches:  These Bento Beauties

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Green salad, coconut-pineapple coleslaw, shredded chicken and blueberries.  The coleslaw is leftover from a potluck I attended yesterday.  Because one doesn’t simply follow a recipe, I swapped spiralized carrots for broccoli slaw (couldn’t find it where I shopped Friday afternoon), skipped the celery (don’t like it), swapped chopped pecans for sliced almonds (it’s what I found at the store), orange juice instead of lime and homemade pineapple vinegar instead of ACV. I also didn’t measure anything but the dressing ingredients.  It’s amazeballs, the perfect mashup of carrot raisin salad and traditional coleslaw.  Most of it was gobbled up at the potluck, so it must’ve appealed to non-paleo tastebuds too.

The green salad is leftover from last week’s cookup, but everything is still fresh and looks like it will hold a few more days.  After taking the picture I realized my lunches are lacking in fat so I whipped up a batch of mayo and added it to the shredded chicken.  By ‘whipped up’ I mean I made a failed batch with the immersion blender and then switched to the slow drip method in the kitchen-aid.  It.  Took.  Forever.  The mayo still didn’t come out as thick as I wanted, but at least it’s not a yolky, oily mess.  It’ll work.

Dinners: Roasted Veg and Protein Bowls

Last Sunday at the farmers’ market I picked up a bag of less than perfect green beans for a dollar and then they sat in my fridge for a week.  I wouldn’t have wanted them steamed, but they turned out perfect in the oven.

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I roasted cauliflower too.  Purple cauliflower is trippy.

2014-08-24 19.10.36I faux-grilled burgers.

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And I have more shredded chicken; I didn’t take a picture of it.

And as a bonus veggie, I have one helping of zoodles leftover from tonight’s dinner.

2014-08-24 19.11.15These zoodles were so good I firmly believe that pasta made with wheat can suck it.  No formal recipe, but I can explain.  I got a tip from Paleo in Pumps.  Add a spoonful of arrowroot powder to sauce so there is no watery mess left at the end.  (The link goes to the blog.  They posted the tip on Facebook and it’s been on my mind to try it.  The blog is a good read.  Check it out)

I started with avocado oil and lemon juice on medium heat.  I picked a small handful of basil leaves and used scissors to slice them into thin strips.  I added the basil, two cloves of garlic pushed through a press and sprinkled in a spoonful of arrowroot powder.  When arrowroot powder got toasty and bready I added a few drops of hot sauce and a spoonful of ghee.  I prepped the zoodles ahead of time by gently massaging them in a colander with a palmful of salt and letting the zoodles sweat for about 30 minutes.  Right before adding them to the pan I rinsed off the salt and squeezed out the excess water.  I stirred the zoodles into the sauce, popped a lid on the pan, turned off the heat and let everything hang out for about 3 minutes before I put heaping piles on our plates.  Not too mushy, not too firm, and no puddle on my plate.

So this week for dinner I have 3 veggies and 2 proteins from which I can make a plate in under two minutes, including reheating time.  Let’s hope this week is better than the last.

Last week I struggled with my food and exercise.  I know this is no excuse, but I was really effing busy.  Tuesday night we had a home visit with our social worker, I completed a mountain of paperwork for her Wednesday night, did another mountain of paperwork for class Thursday night, and Friday night I had to prepare a dish for our foster parent class.  It’s really easy to snack and mindlessly eat while sitting in front of the computer for 4-5 hours after working all day.  I only squeezed in two visits to the gym and only did yoga, no cardio.  Then on Friday our school’s admin team catered in lunch from Subway.  I resisted the free food we were offered all week and then I finally caved on the last day.  I grabbed a sandwich, chucked the bread but ate the cheese, a bag of salt & vinegar chips and one two cookies.  Ugh.  I felt fine Friday afternoon but woke up on Saturday with achy joints and a bloated tummy.  Blech.  Resist the free food!  Walk away!

Since my challenge last week to stay away from snacking was a big fat fail, this week I’m challenging myself to four nights at the gym and no snacks.  Three meals on a plate and no snacks.

No.  Snacks.




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