Sunday Cookup 3: Labor Day Edition

One full week of school, done.

It’s exhausting.

Last week’s prep provided me with some great meals, and it was a godsend being able to come home and plate a healthy meal with protein and veg before evening going back out to the gym.

With an extra day off this week, I got to spend more time in the kitchen.  I also spread my cookup over two days and didn’t time myself.  Here’s what will be available for us this during our 4-day work week.

Breakfast: Sweet potato, sausage and kale and egg muffins.

I love making egg or ground meat muffins for a grab and go breakfast.  Yeah, I know we’re supposed to sit down and eat three times a day, but I’m out the door at 6am.  I eat breakfast at my desk.

Two weeks ago I made egg and peach muffins.  Delicious, but my “non-stick” muffin pan soaked under soapy water for 2 days, ran through the dishwasher twice and I wore down a thumbnail before I scraped off most of the cooked eggy goop.  I’ve worn through two silicone muffin pans in the past few years.  I don’t want to buy another one, and I’m not a fan of those paper cupcake liners either.

Last week I made turkey, blueberry and kale muffins.  Those were great and required less cleanup.

Today I outdid myself.

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I started with cutting out squares of parchment paper.  It’s easier than it sounds, I tore off a big sheet, folded it in thirds one way, turned and folded the sheet in quarters in the other direction to make 12 squares.  Then I cut around the edges and pressed the sheets into the pan, making nice creases so the egg doesn’t seep into the folds.

Yesterday I peeled and shredded two sweet potatoes by pulsing them in the food processor.   It was a lot more than I needed, but we did have some wonderful sweet potato hash this morning.  When I got ready to make these muffins I popped the container of sweet potato shreds in the microwave for 6 minutes.  Then I gave each muffin cup a big steamy spoonful.

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The potatoes help weigh down the parchment squares.

Then I added some homemade pork sausage.  I started with a pound of ground pork, made 4 small patties for Hub’s and my breakfast, and then browned the rest as ground meat.  Each muffin got a big spoonful.

The next layer was a big spoonful of frozen kale, semi-thawed and strained.

Lastly I whisked 6 eggs with a generous pour or light coconut milk, salt and pepper.  I poured just enough in each muffin cup to allow it all to stick together.  The egg does puff up when baking, so it’s okay if the egg isn’t burying everything.  I did, however, smoosh down the other ingredients to help it all stay together.

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Look Ma, no sticking!

These guys baked for 25 minutes at 250.

I’m a little too excited to take them to work tomorrow.

More breakfast: Pumpkin Spice Creamer

I refuse to feel left out of the PSL craze, so I made my own pumpkin spice creamer.  It tastes better than it looks, so I won’t share a picture.  I had some yesterday afternoon blended with leftover coffee and ice.  It was just as good this morning with hot coffee blended with coconut oil, my version of pumpkin spice bulletproof coffee.

I buy Trader Joe’s light coconut milk because it contains only coconut and water.  I’ve never found a full-fat version without fillers, so my curries are watery and my coffee with coconut milk is like 2% milk instead of cream.  Behold what I found at an Asian grocery store the other day.  Problem solved.

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One ingredient: coconut.

Recipe for homemade pumpkin spice coffee creamer (approximate, because I don’t measure.)

1.5 cups light coconut milk.

1/4 cup creamed coconut

(or 1.75 cups full-fat coconut milk)

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

dash salt

cocoa powder, allspice, cinnamon and ginger to taste.

Blend it all together.  It’s better blended into hot or iced coffee because it’s thick.

I think it’s awesome, but I’ve been eating W30 for a few months now, and I’m used to foods not tasting sweet.  This.Is.Not.Sweet.

I know learning to drink black coffee is a big part of the W30. I like this better.

Protein: Lemon-Rosemary Chicken

The marinade for this recipe terrified me.  Half a cup of rosemary?!?  Don’t be scared.  The marinade smelled like lemony-earthy-heaven.  I made the marinade yesterday, let the chicken hang out in a freezer bag overnight and threw it on the grill today.

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I also have a freezer full of shrimp I can quickly steam, thanks to a buy 2 get 3 free sale at the fancy-schmancy grocery store.  I have some chicken apple sausages in the freezer too, so we’re set for protein.

Veg: Grilled cabbage

I sliced and salted these cabbage slices yesterday, rinsed and brushed with avocado oil and threw them on the grill today.  Fifteen-ish minutes per side and they looked like this fresh off the grill.

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More veg: Carrot Pineapple Cole Slaw

I shredded about 1/4 head cabbage and 4 carrots by pulsing them in the food processor.  Then I added avocado oil, vinegar, raisins, a drained can of crushed pineapple, salt and pepper.

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Even more veg: Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This is how I used up the leftover sweet potato shreds and remains of the can of pumpkin I used to make coffee creamer.  I used the stick blender to mix them up with creamed coconut, a ripe banana, dash of cayenne, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and salt.

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That’s a lot of food for 4 days.  Lucky for me, Hubs seems interested in what I prepared.

I’m also going to say it here to keep myself accountable.  Today, September 1, I’m starting a Whole120.  I did great in July when I counted days, but did more off-roading than I care to do in August.  The worst was last Friday night. I was exhausted and out of pre-made food so we ordered in Chinese.  In addition to the sugary beef with cashews, I had rice and two stinking crab rangoons with sweet and sour sauce.

Big.  Huge.  Tremendous.  Not small.  Horrible. Mistake.

In addition to the belly ache, I have a sore neck and shoulders like I’ve been in a car accident.  Each time I’ve eaten gluten or dairy since finishing my July W30, something hurts.  The pain manifests in a different place and gets worse every time.

Suck it, dairy.

Suck it, rice.

Suck it, sugar.

Suck it, gluten.

We’re done.

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