Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feeling like her biggest fan!

One of my favorite bloggers, Katie, at www.RunsForCookies.com posts "Motivational Mondays" where readers and Facebook followers explain why they are proud of themselves.  

I got some love on her post last night!  :) 

I shared my picture from Colonial Day with her.  Colonial day is something we have each year for our 4th graders at school.  I had this costume from back in 2005 when a parent made this beautiful skirt, apron, vest and cap for me.  I've worn it several years since then but last year was by far the tightest!  The corset vest barely tied!  This year, it more than overlapped!   So exciting!

I love that Katie gives her readers a chance to shine in her little space on the internet!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Roasted Chili and Rosemary Cashews

I recently had some rosemary Marcona almonds and they were absolutely delicious. I also accidentally bought a large bag of raw cashews. These were not so delicious. So I set out to find a recipe for roasting Cashews and I also have a recent obsession with Rosemary since those Marcona almonds.

This is my second batch of roasted cashews. The first was simply a tiny bit of coconut oil and Sea salt. For these I decided to get a little more creative. I started with the cashews and about a teaspoon or less of coconut oil. Then I added dried rosemary and dried chili pepper flakes. Stir them up and spread them in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake at 2:50 for about 20 to 25 minutes until they are starting to brown a little bit.

The best part is the smell of the roasted cashews. It almost smells like fresh bread. And then the taste of the rosemary and roasted nutty goodness of the cashews and a little heat from the chili, make these amazing!

I'm excited to try other spice combinations and use fresh herbs one spring rolls around.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Easy and Healthy Go-To Meals

I haven't had much time for blogging lately - I have been really busy with training and fundraising for the Team in Training event with Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.   Have I mentioned that I am training for a 1/2 marathon (Nike Women's Half DC on April 28) and that I am committed to raising $1550 for LLS?  

With all that (and work too) I have needed some quick and easy go-to meals while staying healthy.   Here is what I have been eating lately:

My version of Heuvos Rancheros - chopped up lettuce instead of tortilla or chips, sloppy joe/chili, topped with a fried egg and avocado.  DELICIOUS!  I have had this for breakfast on the go and even for a quick dinner after a run.   All it takes is to fry the eggs, warm up the chili and chop up the lettuce and avocado.  Sometimes I have avocado on hand, sometimes I add a little bacon on the side. :)

Chicken soup - last week I grabbed a rotisserie chicken.  Not the best sourced meat, but I needed some meat on the go... I ate the chicken breast in lettuce wraps, sliced and warmed, and I enjoyed the legs and wings too.  :)    But then I had the bones and a little meat on them leftover.  I boiled it with water, carrots and some peppercorns for about 45 minutes.  I strained the broth, added some chicken breast and frozen veggies.   Delicious in less than an hour.  I made 3 bowls of this and had it to heat up for lunch later in the week.

Lettuce wraps and taco salad - I cut up a head of iceberg lettuce into large leaves and packed them along with a bowl of the sloppy joe/chili.  Heat up the chili and spoon into the lettuce, roll up and enjoy!   The cold lettuce and the slightly spicy hot chili is a perfect combo!  These have been my go-to lunch for the last two weeks.  Sometimes I just cut up the lettuce though and it's kind of like nachos or a taco salad!  Top with whatever you have - tomatoes, avocados, salsa, etc.  Yum!
Grill something  - I love my George Foreman Grill!  I grilled some nitrate free apple chicken sausage, halves of zucchini and some thinly sliced sweet potato.  Dinner in under 10 minutes (and if you grill double the amount you have a lunch for the next day!)

Skillet stir fry - Throw together whatever meat and veggies you have, season and enjoy!  This stir fry has 1/2 zucchini, frozen broccoli, bell peppers, a couple of fresh tomatoes and chicken breast.   Less than 15 minutes and  you are enjoying a hot and healthy meal!
Frittata - I can always eat a yummy frittata.  These aren't as quick, but just as easy.  Less than an hour, usually feeds two-three depending on your pan size and the  number of eggs.  Throw in whatever meat and veggies you have.  This one has cabbage, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots and bacon.   I cooked each of those, layered them in the pan, covered them all with 6 eggs and baked till firm.  Yum!

Just because you are busy doesn't mean you can't eat well!   Plan ahead, and make a big batch of something you can eat lots of different ways.  You will enjoy your meals and nourish your body!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two easy ideas for your home

Several months ago I saw a pin on pinterest (imagine that!) that talked about the best way to keep a newborn's tiny socks and mittens from getting lost in the washer and dryer was to put them all in a lingerie bag - not because they need a gentler cycle, but to keep them all together. (Full disclosure - I tuck my bras in that bag with my socks too, they come out before the bag goes in the wash. Having them in this lingeriebag keeps them from snagging my other clothes.)

Love my WVU pop up hamper! Think I have enough WVU swag in this picture? I have my hamper, my logo scarf and at the very top is this cool, ruffled knitted scarf my mom got me for Christmas this year!

Ok, I promised two ideas - that's one!

Here is number two - the easiest way to display, hang, detangle, and organize your necklaces.

I found oversized thumbtacks at a discount store - usually you can find these at an office supply store too. Stick them in the wall and hang your necklaces! (I have waaaay too many necklaces for one person!) These are easy to move if you need to add more and leave tiny holes if you decide not to keep them in the same place.

Another pic with some WV swag in there - love that necklace! My heart is always in WV!
What tricks can you share?


Friday, February 8, 2013

Panera's Hidden Menu! SO exciting!

So Panera is a place I used to meet friends for lunch often - when I was in a classroom, this was a great place to grade papers, work on report cards and even to do some lesson planning.  Free wifi, unlimited coffee, no servers to bug you and good food.

Fast forward to my Paleo eating habits now - this is not a place I frequent anymore.  While they have salads that are pretty good, I have to modify a lot - cheese, dressing, bread, croutons or wontons, etc.

SO I was super excited to hear that Panera had these new hidden menu items available.  Today I had a few minutes between a meeting at my school and a training at another site....and needed to grab something!

I pulled it up on my phone, just in case  I had trouble ordering...but had no need for it!   The cashier knew just what I was talking about and she rang it up (with my request of no-onions!) with no hesitation!

SO exciting.  I had the Power Steak Lettuce Wraps with no onions.  It was delicious and great to go - I took it to my meeting and was very happy with that choice!

I didn't have any pesto (I was in a hurry, they had trouble getting the pesto to go, so they gave me olive oil and lemons, I didn't eat the olive oil anyway.)

DELICIOUS choice that has now opened up to me!  I'm excited to try the Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad next time.    I just need to figure out if the bacon is nitrate free.  :)