creative Thanksgiving leftovers

Thanksgiving and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship.  At least since Andrew and I began staying home and celebrating it with his parents, as I’ve started a local 5k race on Thanksgiving morning.  I plan to stay home from here on out (sorry Mom!), and have accepted that if I want my Thanksgiving meal to be anything like what I grew up with, I’m going to have to make all. the. sides.  (This is no one’s fault; Andrew’s family simply ate different things on Thanksgiving than I did.) Continue reading “creative Thanksgiving leftovers”

whole30: week 2 meal highlights

Hello hello!  It’s day 18 (!!!) of my Whole30 journey and I cannot even tell you how great I feel!  In the book, they call this ‘Tiger Blood.’  It’s when you’re over the hump of cravings  and the ‘carb hangover’ and experience increased energy, you feel great and you’re just happy.  I’m there!  I noticed on day 16 (Saturday) as I drove to teach a 7 am cycle class that I was feeling almost euphoric.  I mean, I’m a morning person and all, but I’m never that happy at 6:45 am.  Ever since, I’ve felt better than I have in years (perhaps ever!), unhealthy foods don’t even tempt me and I’m craving only healthy, nutritious food.

I can’t say I experienced a lot of negative side effects or intense cravings, but I did have a little fatigue toward the end of the first week, and definitely some strange dreams!

Here are some of the best meals from this past week:

Sunday morning I loaded up on greens and veggies since we tend to go out to eat after church and I wasn’t sure what would be available. I topped my salad with leftover salmon from the night before. I whipped up a chicken and sweet potato chowder from the Whole30 cookbook that tasted better than it looked.  I topped mine with cilantro, red onion and lime juice.  Delicious!
 I completely messed up the ketchup I tried to make (grabbed the wrong measuring cup, wasn’t paying attention, accidentally poured in DOUBLE the amount of apple cider vinegar), so I salvaged it by adding more tomato paste and making a GIANT vat of barbecue sauce.  So, I thawed some chicken, baked it in a 9×13 with the sauce and called it a day.  Served with homemade coleslaw and baked potato. ‘Protein salad’ of canned chicken, homemade mayo, sliced grapes, celery and walnuts atop spinach and kale greens.
 A breakfast: dressed kale greens, homemade carrot/raisin/pineapple salad and homemade sausage with bbq sauce.

Another breakfast: sweet potato with cinnamon and ghee (clarified butter), eggs with veggies, salsa and avocado.

Friday night I really wanted to surprise Andrew with a steak dinner, so I pulled out all the stops and made his favorite roasted potatoes and asparagus.  Saturday morning breakfast: a giant salad with hardboiled eggs, banana and almond butter, with V8 and tea.

 Saturday night, I made short ribs (another surprise for Andrew) with the last of the bbq sauce, another batch of slaw and roasted sweet potatoes.

This week, so far, has been the week of PORK.  On Sunday morning, we had BACON! I found smoked, sugar-free bacon at the butcher, which was so fun to make for Andrew.  It didn’t taste exactly like the bacon we’re all used to, but it was tasty.  We also had a delicious pork loin and salad tonight, and will have bangers (seasoned pork patties instead of store-bought sausages) with (sweet potato) mash.

Other recipes for this week include taco night, that apple-sweet potato hash I mentioned before, and perhaps a cold Thai salad.  Happy eating!

to Africa and back

Awhile ago (as in, I don’t even remember how long ago), my friend Regina (at least I think that’s who it was) recommended a recipe for a sweet potato stew to me.  I don’t even remember why she thought to tell me about it.  I’m just all sorts of forgetful these days, aren’t I?!

Anyway, the recipe for African Sweet Potato Stew with Red Beans has been in my to-make pile for awhile, and I thought it would be perfect for Meatless Monday this week.  (Except that we ate it tonight, which is indeed Tuesday, but whatever.  It’s the thought that counts.)

I’ll admit, I didn’t have super high hopes that Andrew would like this dish.  It has beans in it, after all.

So you can imagine my surprise when he announced that, in fact, he did like it.  According to him, the red beans “didn’t ruin in by making it too dry.”

In fact, “You can’t even taste them,” he said.  Whatever works, right?


To go with it, I made Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day’s ‘Msemmen,’ which is an Algerian flatbread.  I thought it would go nicely.  It was super easy and absolutely amazing.  Basically, you make their basic dough recipe, roll it out, spread a spice mixture on it as if it were pizza, then you roll the dough into a log and swirl it into a cinnamon roll shape before letting it rest for 20 minutes.  After that, you simply roll it out again, which causes the spice mixture to create layers in the dough.  Then, pan-fry in a skillet.





The stew is slightly sweet with just a bit of a kick.  Serve with lime wedges and chopped peanuts!