Clean30 Day 1 – Mustard Chicken Thighs RECIPE, Sautéed Spinach, Cooked Carrots and Mashed Cauliflower

Clean30 Starts….. NOW. Well, technically this morning but you get the point. In case you missed my post about the Clean 30, my box is doing round 3 of 30 days of strict paleo. It’s meant to show you how good eating clean can make you feel, look,  and how much it can improve your fitness… also…the most important part… it’s a competition. You get points for different achievements (attending CF WOD is 2 points, working out outside CF 1 point, totally clean meal 2 points, a day with no no alcohol 1 point, 7+ hours of sleep 1 point so on and so on) and you keep track of them on a nifty little scorecard they give you.

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You also do three benchmarks WODS on day one and then again on day 30 to see how much you progressed. You get points for your progression as well.  You are placed on a team, with a coach who sends you encouraging emails and helps you throughout the process.  In the end there is an individual winner and a team winner. But really, in the end,  aren’t we all winners?… awww……

ANYWAY, today’s dinner: Mustard Chicken Thighs, cooked spinach, cooked carrots and mashed cauliflower. The entire dinner for 2 and leftovers took me all of 15 minutes to prep and a total cook time of less than 30 min. So easy.

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Mustard Chicken Thighs

2lbs chicken thighs

1/4 cup melted butter/ghee

2 tablespoons mustard

pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in microwave, takes about 10 seconds.

2. Mix butter and dijon mustard and pepper.

3. Spread on chicken thighs

4. Cook in oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until done.

5. Go spend the rest of your night relaxing because dinner took no time at all to make.

For the spinach – I placed raw spinach leaves in a saucepan with a bit of water, garlic powder, butter and salt. Cooked on medium for about 10 minutes.

Cauliflower – Steamed in a pot until soft, mixed in nutribullet with butter and salt.

Carrots – steamed for about 20 minutes and squeezed orange juice on top.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE COOKING and still want delicious gourmet paleo meals for $12.40 a meal – check out my last post on Caveman Cafeteria’s meal delivery. They are offering $50 off a month of delicious and nutritious meals if you use the promo code “BeAboutIt” after clicking here. 

Powered by Bacon Meatloaf – Paleo Recipe

I eat a lot of bacon. Real bacon, not the stringy little packaged kind. The thick cut, meaty, smokey delicious kind. So much so that the guy at the meat counter recognizes  me as the bacon girl. On Monday night I order 2 lbs of it. I came back in on Wednesday to grab some chicken and he asked if I was back for more bacon. I jokingly told me I still had a 1/2 lb left and he believed me. I’ve probably eaten that much in 48 hours before.  I used to shun bacon like the evil fatty devil I thought it was, so I think I’m just making up for 26 years of deprivation. 

Last week I was growing PaleoOmg for now recipes and stumbled across a bacon meatloaf recipe. I started salivating like Pavlov’s dog and I knew I had to make it right away. I spent an hour I had between classes getting the ingredients and prepping it so all I had to do when I got home was pop it in the oven. I give to you Paleo Bacon Meatlof. I literally forgot to take a picture after it was cooked because I was too excited to try it, so you are stuck with the precooked version. Imagine that just crispier. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan (Hi Liz) I am not quite sure why you click on a link called Bacon Meatloaf, but you might want to stop here. 

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Precooked Heaven in a Pan

There is both a meatloaf and a delicious sauce to cover the meatloaf with. Here are both ingredients:
 
For the Meatloaf:
  • 2-2.5 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 11 sliced uncured bacon, 2 sliced cooked and diced
For the  Sauce:
  • 1 (6oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup water or broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple butter (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard (no sugar added)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • pinch or two of ground cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • splash of hot sauce, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Dice up your 2 pieces of bacon and throw in a frying pan to cook up for about 5-7 minutes.
  3. While the bacon is cooking, mix together all other ingredients (except for your 9 slices of bacon) in a large bowl. Once your 2 pieces of bacon are done cooking, add them to the bowl and fully incorporate into the mix.
  4. If you are me, now layer the remaining bacon and meat mixture in a meatloaf/bread pan so that you have meat/bacon/meat/bacon. Or, just do it the way Paleoomg says and put the bacon on top. But that is less fun. 
  5. Cook for 45 minutes.

NOW, onto the sauce.

  1. Brown onions in frying pan with some form of fat (olive or coconut or bacon grease)
  2. Add the garlic and stir together to cook a bit more.
  3. Add all other ingredients and mix together, then let simmer for 10-15 minutes (or longer if you have time-I usually want to eat as quick as possible).
  4. Now sit around and wait hungrily for the meat loaf to be done so you can pour the sauce on top and get to nomming.

 

Do you like Bacon?

What are your favorite ways to eat bacon?

 

 

 

Paleo Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Protein Breakfast Cake

Oh ya know, just a Friday night in procrastinating from doing some reading for school by switching off between playing with my dog and whipping up some food in the kitchen. I feel like that is how I spend 60% of my life.

But, honestly, could you say no to this face?

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Seeing as how every day I get a lot of people coming to my blog for the Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal page, I figured I would dish out another Pumpkin Spice related recipe as that seems to be an ‘it’ thing right now. So, I give you: Paleo Cranberry Pumpkin Spice Protein Breakfast Cake. Say that 5 times fast. It’s just a variation on the lemon blueberry. More appropriate for fall/upcoming thanksgiving holiday.

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Paleo Pumpkin Spice Protein Breakfast Cake

12 eggs

1 cup almond flour (or coconut flour if you prefer it)

1/2 cup maple syrups

3/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup pumpkin

1 tsp salt

1tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1.5 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1. Mix the eggs, pumpkin, coconut oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup together in a bowl.

2. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda and pumpkin spice.

3. Stir until combined. Slowly stir in cranberries.

4. Pour into baking container. I used one about 8*8, but any size will work as long as you check it now and then to make sure it’s not cooking too fast.

5. Bake on 350 for about 30 minutes, or until no batter sticks to a knife when you stick it into the cake to the bottom.

Paleo Asian Meatballs (Whole 30 Compliant)

I am a hungry hungry hippo right now. I am sitting at school counting down the minutes until I can go home and snarf up some meatballs I made last night.

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I should have brought another snack to eat since I have work then class until 7:45 on Monday’s, but alas I failed to plan well. At least I have something absolutely delicious to come home to. My sister told me to make this last year when she did Whole 30 and it took me only 11 months to make them! I wish I had made them 10 months and 29 days sooner, because they are amazing.

Word to the wise: don’t put half of your balls in a glass container to cook, then place the glass container directly on the bottom of the oven. It will shatter into 5 million little pieces that you will not want to clean up at 10 at night while cursing yourself for being an idiot.

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Whole 30 Paleo Asian Style Meatballs

2 lbs ground beef

8 shitake mushrooms, diced

3/4 cup  sweet potatoes, diced

1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (without soy if you are paleo)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

salt/pepper

1tbs coconut oil

1. Mix all ingredients except the coconut oil together. Don’t be scared to get your hands dirty and hand mix everything together to ensure it’s fully blended.

2. Put oil on cooking sheet. Form into meatballs in whatever size your heart desires.  Place meatballs on cooking sheet.

3. Bake at 375* for about 15-20 minutes.

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti and a Pumpkin Patch

Today was a gorgeous fall day, with a bright blue sky and beautiful orange leaves. My boyfriend and I decided to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and get in the halloween spirit by going to a pumpkin patch.

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Cottonwood Farms in Boulder offers a corn and hay maze, lots of farm animals, and a pumpkin patch with some gorgeous pumpkins. Somehow my boyfriend has made it 29 years without ever carving a pumpkin. That is unacceptable to me and my love of fall activities. We will definitely be fixing that this weekend with the two perfect pumpkins we picked out.

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Tonight I made one of the most delicious paleo recipes I have made yet. Unfortunately, it just looks like mush on film, but I PROMISE you it is worth it. I have to give credit to PaleoOMG for this one.

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Paleo Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons fat (I used duck fat)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • chopped green onions, to garnish
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes
For the mayo (this will render about ⅔ cup mayo)
  • ⅔ cup avocado oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Cut spaghetti squash in half length wise. Place them face down on a baking sheet and cook at 350 for 25 minutes.

2. Put coconut oil in a pan with cut up chicken. Cook until the chicken lightly cooks on the outside, with no more pink showing. Cut up garlic, onions, carrots and celery and add to pan.

3. Mix the ingredients of the mayonnaise in a bowl, whip lightly until thickens.

4. When onions are translucent, add the cooked squash to the pan, mix in the mayo and the hot sauce. Cook for about five minutes and enjoy!

Trust me, take a leap of faith on the mushy yellow heap and make this recipe. I promise it will not disappoint.

Do you like fall activities? Do you have a special fall ritual?

Paleo Cooked Kale with Bacon and Carrots

I am obsessed with bacon. I don’t just like it, I consume it in obscene quantities to the point where I had to implement a “bacon budget” to restrict myself to one pound a week because it was getting out of control.  I know my friends over at 365 Days of Bacon understand. When my fellow bacon loving coworker heard about my new budget he proceeded to bring me cooked bacon one morning so I wouldn’t go through withdrawal , along with this shirt, which perfectly states how I feel about bacon:

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In order to make my bacon limit last longer, I decided to start mixing it into foods I eat normally, in smaller quantities so I wouldn’t run out by Wednesday and be bacon-less until the following Sunday. I wanted something easy that wouldn’t take long to make, hence the Cooked Kale with Bacon.

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Paleo Cooked Kale with Carrots

3 strips Nitrate free Bacon (peppered Whole Foods bacon is the best!)

2 bushels dinosaur kale (also called lacinto kale)

1 yellow onion

3 large carrots

1/2 cup chicken stock (or water if you really have no chicken stock)

1. Cook bacon until crispy in fry pan. Remove from fry pan but leave the bacon grease.

2. Chop the onions and carrots and add to the bacon grease. Cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat until the onions and carrots start to soften.

3. Chop up kale and add to the pan, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, cover and let cook at low/medium heat for about 5 minutes or until kale has cooked.

4. Tear/cut bacon into small pieces and mix in with the cooked kale.

5. Enjoy your bacon knowing you are also getting some healthy vitamins from the kale and carrots!

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Paleo Tangy Chicken with Mango Jalapeño Lime Salsa + Fruit Flies (but not together)

Hey guys! Long time no talk. My bad on that one. I keep thinking about things I should write about, but then don’t have the mental energy to actually do it. But I’m finally well rested and ready for a steady stream of posts on how to foam roll, how to be happy, overpronation, some recipes, and more.

All week I was looking forward to Saturday for the sole purpose of being able to sleep in. You ever have one of those weeks? After a nice long snooze, I decided to get up to the mountains and went for a hike with my friend and my dog (who is 11 lbs and needed to be carried now and then, just adding an extra challenge!).

Image It was overcast and started sprinkling a little on the way back, but was still nice to get out and get some fresh air. That night I watched a documentary on Happiness, which was very interesting and I’ll talk more about in my next post. One hint: exercise was considered one of the best ways to improve your happiness level.

Today I had wanted to go tubing, but Mother Nature decided to bless us with 60 degrees and rain, so I did a quick speed workout with some negative splits.

ImageI’m trying to get my speed back up and, as much as I hate short fast runs, it’s the only way to improve my overall speed.  Good thing I had some yummy food waiting for me. I present you with…

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BAKED (or GRILLED) TANGY CHICKEN WITH MANGO JALAPEÑO LIME SALSA

1lb chicken breasts

1 jalapenos

2 limes

1 red onion

1 mango

salt/pepper

1 avocado

1. Dice the onion and jalapeño and stick them in a bag

2. Squeeze juice from limes and lemon into the bag

3. Cut up mango (without skin) and put it in the plastic bag

4.  Put chicken breasts in bag and let marinate for at least 45 minutes in the fridge

5. Put a dash of salt and pepper into the bag and shake

6. Back in the oven on 350* until done, about 25 minutes.

7. Serve with chopped up avocado

Now, since it’s in the title I have to mention the neat little trick I learned to get rid of fruit flies. Pour some apple cider vinegar and a piece of a banana into a water bottle. Take a piece of paper and roll it up, put it in the bottle.

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The flies will fly down, but won’t be able to fly out. Finally an easy way to get rid of the ever multiplying pests! Until next time, friends.

PALEO Spicy Orange Roasted Chicken

I’m on a kick with the roasted chicken lately. It gives me lunch for almost the whole week, especially when I throw in some sweet potato, carrots, and onions to cook. Also, it’s super easy, which is a perk during the weekdays. I’ll keep this short and simple, here’s the recipe!

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SPICY ORANGE ROASTED CHICKEN

One whole chicken

1/4 cup honey

2 tsp chile powder

1 tbs chipotle powder

3 cloves garlic

1tsp onion

2 tsp Herbs de Provence

1 cup orange juice (fresh)

Pinch of salt and pinch pepper

1. Place bird in a baking dish.Pour orange juice onto bird to wet it, saving juice in pan.

2. Mix all dry ingredients (and honey) together and rub onto the chicken, using the wetness from the orange juice to make it stick.

3. Put the pan with the bird and the orange juice it in the fridge to marinate for at least three hours. (if it doesn’t fit, mine didn’t, put it in a ziploc bag and let it marinate)

4. After the bird has marinated, put it in a roasting pan  (one with a lid). I cut up sweet potato and onions to cook with it.

5.  Cook in oven at 350 for about 60 minutes (20 min per lb) or until done.

Quick. Easy. Delicious. Enjoy!

Let’s Talk Grocery Stores – Top Ingredients to avoid

I’ve always liked looking in people’s grocery carts at the check out line to see what they are getting. Is that a little nosy? Yes. Am I judging? Not usually (though if you are buying Spam, Hungry Mans and chimichangas I probably will be).

More so I find it interesting to see how many people are making an effort to try to be healthy, but just don’t have the knowledge to make it happen. I was 100% one of these people, buying “100 Calorie” Packs of cookies (who really eats just one?) or Smart Ones Ice Cream treats.

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Everything about these “low fat/low cal” alternatives is bad. Some popular ingredients listed in low fat foods that should ALWAYS be avoided are:

1) Sucralose (used in Splenda and most low cal treats), which has been linked to spiked insulin levels (aka helping you GAIN weight) and increased gastrointestinal problems,

2) MSG has been shown to trigger weight gain and, more importantly, can destroy nerve cells in the brain if consumed in large quantities.

3) High Fructose Corn Syrup is the number one source of calories in the US Diet and is linked to diabetes and weight gain

4) Apartame, another artificial sweetener, which breaks down to Formaldehyde in the body and has caused more reports to the FDA of adverse reactions than all other foods/artificial flavoring COMBINED

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5) BHA , which is listed in the state of CA as a known carciogen, has been shown to form possible cancer causing compounds in the body.

AND Finally, the one that shocked me the most

6) Agave Nectar is advertised as a healthy alternative to sugar but in reality is highly processed, with more fructose than high fructose corn syrup.

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So how do you avoid this? It’s really very simple. STICK TO THE PERIMETER OF YOUR GROCERY STORE. Most grocery stores line the perimeter with the produce, meat, dairy and organic sections. There are only four things that I go into the center of the grocery store for 1) balsamic vinegar 2) apple cider vinegar 3) Spices and 4) Almond Butter. Also, because I’ve had people ask, canned vegetables are a no-no. Prior to canning they are heat blasted, removing most nutritional value, and have added preservatives and salt.

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If you don’t want to take it that far, which I’m sure plenty don’t, then be sure to check what is on the label. If you can’t pronounce it or don’t know what it is, don’t get it. If it’s has “Modified” or “Enriched” in front of it, that means “highly processed” so put it back. Don’t be scared of fat, as long as it is from a NATURAL source.

99% of eating healthy is breaking the habit of being lazy. It doesn’t take me longer than 10 minutes to cook a chicken breast and some veggies. That’s only 6 minutes more than the average time to heat up a frozen meal, without the extra sodium and preservatives. Anyone can do it, it’s just a matter of making the choice.

Paleo Prosciutto Eggs Cups and Beef Stuffed Peppers

I admit, it’s been a while. I got caught up in my real world life, final exams, and starting a full time job. To whoever has been linking to me on Pinterest, you are amazing and I am so grateful. Somehow in my absence my blog got more hits than ever. Does this mean that you guys like it better when I don’t talk? …well tough luck, I’m in a chatty mood.

I’m back with TWO recipes for you today. The first one I had seen pictures of on Instagram and knew I had to recreate. If you are looking for another breakfast food to make ahead of time and eat on the go, this is definitely for you.

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Paleo Prosciutto/Bacon Egg Cup

1/4lb proscuitto or 1/2lb bacon

6 Eggs

Chopped bell peppers, onions, spinach (I used 1/2 a bell pepper, 1/4 cup spinach and 1/4 cup onion, but it’s really up to you)

1. Spray muffin tin with coconut oil

2. Line each muffin tin with thin layer of prosciutto/bacon

3. Mix veggies and eggs together and pour small amounts into each muffin tin

4. Bake in oven for about 25 minutes on 350.

These were so good and did not last long before they were gobbled up. The saltiness from the prosciutto is truly addicting. Tonight I also made stuffed peppers, which are super quick and easy and great to make ahead of time for lunches or dinners.

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Paleo Stuffed Peppers

1lb ground beef or bison

3 bell peppers, preferably red or yellow or orange

1/2 onion, diced

6 basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup cherry tomatos, chopped in half

6 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon chili powder (opt.)

1. Cut bell peppers in half, leaving the stems up scooping out the seeds. Place open side down on a baking sheet with a bit of coconut oil on them and place in oven at 350*.

2. Put chopped onions in saucepan with 2 tbs coconut oil. Cook on medium until translucent.

3. Add beef and garlic and chili powder (optional, but you know I like things spicy), stir until the beef starts to brown.

4. Add basil and tomato, cook until all meet is brown.

5. Remove peppers from oven, scoop beef mixture into peppers.

6. Put back in oven for about 15 minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.

7. I also roasted jalapeños (just cut them up and threw them on a baking pan) and mixed these in after the fact. Added even more spicy flavor if that’s your thing.

Today I signed up for a new gym, with my work paying for a good portion of my membership fees. I’ll be able to go over during lunch and work out, or after work to avoid rush hour traffic. The gym is super nice and I can’t wait until tomorrow to check it out. Does that make me a little crazy? Maybe, but I don’t care.

Also, I found a Paleo Food truck! They were just shutting down for the day, when I discovered them so I couldn’t get any food. BUT I chatted with the guys a bit, who were super friendly, and I’ll be reviewing their food tomorrow for anyone who lives in the Denver Area!