Category: Food

Whole 30 – Week 1

I love food. Cooking food, trying new food and talking about food. However almost always I have an ache afterwards.

I’ve tried different medications, had a endoscopy, taken allergy tests and more. Ultimately I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Basically a bunch of nonsense.

After a dinner last year I decided I was done being in pain. I Googled a few things and came across Whole 30.

What is Whole 30 you ask? Whole 30 is not a diet. It centers on eliminating certain food groups such as sugar, dairy, grains, and legumes for about a month to improve health. Processed foods and alcohol are out; but, you can eat meat, seafood, eggs, fruits, vegetables, oils and healthy fats, like avocado.

The first time I did Whole 30 I successfully did 30 days, but with a few modifications. It wasn’t easy! I didn’t tell my family I was doing it. I didn’t want to spook them or think I was doing a diet. I wanted to see if removing certain food from my diet would help me feel better. And it did!! I started feeling better after 5 days. I wasn’t bloated, in pain or ill. To think some of my favorite foods was making me ill was just awful.

I was heartbroken. I love food!

I loved Whole 30 and even lost some weight, but then someone had a birthday, we made plans to check out a new restaurant in town, it was a holiday, etc. You get the point. Something was always in my way.

Then my sister’s bachelorette weekend in Mexico was coming up and I remembered how I felt (and looked) so I did it again. This time I only lasted the two weeks up to her bachelorette. Hello vacation food and cocktails!

After a painful episode last December I deiced on the first day of the year I was going to commit to my health and do another round.

This time I talked it over with my family, read books (thanks Whit!), saved recipes, shopped for food, prepped and did my research.

The first week was hard! Like real hard. I so miss my morning (and sometimes afternoon) coffee with milk and brown sugar. But I decided to stick to the plan, so I haven’t been drinking coffee, because coffee with almond milk is just plain nasty.

After completing the hard week I thought it was best to remind my self of all the yummy recipes we tried and liked.

Here are some of my favorite recipes from Week 1.

Southern breakfast bowlhttp://thedoitallmama.com/2016/05/whole-30-southwestern-breakfast-bowl.html

Baked Salmon with cilantro sauce and cilantro lime cauliflower ricehttps://www.themediterraneandish.com/baked-salmon-recipe-garlic-cilantro-sauce/

Sweet Potato Chicken Pad Thaihttps://littlebitsof.com/2017/06/sweet-potato-chicken-pad-thai/

Sloppy Joe Potato Bowlshttps://physicalkitchness.com/whole30-sloppy-joe-bowls/

Good food, that tastes good, that’s good for you. I love Whole 30! 

See you next week for week 2.

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

Ingredients

1 loaf bread (I used challah), diced

2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup sugar

6 eggs

1 can pumpkin puree (I like Trader Joe’s brand)

1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

2 tbsp vanilla

Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup cold butter, diced

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

2 tsp pumpkin spice

Directions:

1. Dice bread and place in baking dish. 

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and pie spice. 3. Pour mixture over the bread and press firmly.4. For best results refrigerate over night or place in fridge for 3 hours.5. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. 6. Use your finger tips to break down into smaller pieces. Sprinkle mixture over bread. 7. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350.Yum!

Pumpkin French Tpast Casserole
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Ingredients
  1. 1 loaf bread (I used challah), diced
  2. 2 cups milk
  3. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 6 eggs
  6. 1 can pumpkin puree (I like Trader Joe’s brand)
  7. 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  8. 2 tbsp vanilla
Topping
  1. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup cold butter, diced
  3. 1/2 cup flour
  4. 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  5. 2 tsp pumpkin spice
Instructions
  1. Dice bread and place in baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, cream, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and pie spice.
  3. Pour mixture over the bread and press firmly.
  4. For best results refrigerate over night or place in fridge for 3 hours.
  5. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  6. Use your finger tips to break down into smaller pieces. Sprinkle mixture over bread.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350.
Adapted from Little Spice Jar
Adapted from Little Spice Jar
Mama Chit Chat http://www.mamachitchat.com/

Trader Joe’s – Fall Favorites

I don’t like food shopping, but I love going to Trader Joe’s!

My kids get to try new food at the sample counter, I get a mid day caffeine pick me up and on the way out we get stickers and candy.

With Thanksgiving next week I thought I’d share some of my Trader’s Joe’s Fall favorites.

Baked Goods

The kiddos and I love baking with this Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix. We always stash a few after the season. They are that good!

I’m not a huge fan of Pumpkin Pie, but this pie has a great consistency and delicious flavor.This Chocolate Pecan Pie Bar is amazing! It’s chocolaty, salty and the tart is mouth watering. Trust me and go get it now. Don’t walk, run! I love love chai spice so when I tried this I had high hopes. I’m happy to say this Pumpkin Chai Spice Loaf is light, full of flavor and delicious!I’m a big fan of shortbread and this Maple Pecan Shortbread Bar Mix is really yummy and easy to make. Snacks

If you are a fan of the spices in stuffing you will love this Turkey and Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips.These Cornbread Crisps are a crunchy, sweet and salty snack everyone will love. My kiddos love Trader Joe’s gingerbread houses. We do in for Halloween and now a Turkey Kit for Thanksgiving. It’s a simple treat and a great binding experience for the family. I have never tried TJ’s Sweet Potato & Marshmallow Pixie Pie Mix, but this looks amazing. What a perfect combo!This easy and delicious ready made Gingerbread Molasses cookie dough is the perfect base for making gingerbread cookies with the kiddos. 

Their canned Pumpkin is amazing, reasonable priced and comes in a 15 oz. can. Perfect combination for baking!    Freezer Section

These pies are a perfect addition to any meal. Bring one to your next dinner and your guests will be asking for more.Yum! Pilgrim Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream is delicious!  Fridge Section

This Honey Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli with a pinch of a salt is an easy and delicious dinner. Another noodle (not in their cold section) is the Fall Zucchette Pasta. Add it with your favorite jar of pasta sauce for an easy weeknight dinner. Growing up I wasn’t a big Egg Nog fan, but the Trader Joe’s Egg Nog with cinnamon is simple delicious.     My family loves a warm batch of cinnamon rolls on the weekend. These Pumpkin Rolls take it up a notch. Best part, they are not overly sweet with a hint of pumpkin. What are some of your Trader’s Joe’s fall favorites? Share below.

Schnitzel

I never get tired of eating these crispy, freshly breaded, fried chicken cutlets we call schnitzel. My kids gobble it up and my husband always asks for seconds and sometimes even thirds. It’s easy to make, stores well and can be added to many dishes.

So when my my neighbor, Ranju, wanted the recipe for “that thin piece of veal” I knew I needed to blog about it. But after some research I noticed how many versions of Schnitzel there was. It turns out Schnitzel means different things in different countries and restaurants. This classic dish has been adapted by German Jews where it was called Viennese Wiener Schnitzel. Originally made with veal, the Israeli version originally featured turkey, which was much more easily accessible then beef or chicken. In my home we use chicken.

Here is how I make Schnitzel: Israeli fried chicken.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs (I use Italian style)
Oil

Step 1: Prepare three medium bowls and a large plate. Put flour in the first bowl. Put eggs and 2 tablespoon water in the second bowl.  Mix well. Put breadcrumbs in the third bowl.

Step 2: Butterfly chicken breast to make large schnitzel, or simply slice the breast very thin. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the meat until very thin. Set aside.
Step 3: Heat oil in pan.
Step 4: Coat chicken with flour on both sides.

Step 5: Coat chicken in egg mixture bowl. Step 6: Coat chicken in breadcrumbs bowl.Step 7: While oil is hot, place pieces in a single layer. Step 8: Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side. Step 9: Once cooked, remove to large plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until done. That’s it! Enjoy!

Easy, crispy, freshly breaded, fried chicken cutlets we like to call schnitzel.Thank you Ranju for the request. :)

Schnitzel: Chicken Cutlets
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup breadcrumbs (I use Italian style)
  5. Oil
Instructions
  1. 1. Prepare three medium bowls and a large plate. Put flour in the first bowl. Put eggs and 2 tablespoon water in the second bowl. Mix well. Put breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
  2. 2. Butterfly chicken breast to make large schnitzel, or simply slice the breast very thin. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the meat until very thin. Set aside.
  3. 3. Heat oil in pan.
  4. 4. Coat chicken with flour on both sides.
  5. 5. Coat chicken in egg mixture bowl.
  6. 6. Coat chicken in breadcrumbs bowl.
  7. 7. While oil is hot, place pieces in a single layer.
  8. 8. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side.
  9. 9. Once cooked, remove to large plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until done.
Mama Chit Chat http://www.mamachitchat.com/

Show & Tell Tuesday – Favorite Recipes

I’m linking up with Andrea for Show and Tell Tuesday.

The theme this week is…Favorite Recipes.

Anytime I cook something yummy or come across a great recipe I try adding it to the blog.

Here are some of my favorites.Happy Tuesday!

Mushroom Chicken

I love simple and yummy weeknight dinners. So after I made this I knew I had to share it with you guys.

Mushroom Chicken

I served it with rice pilaf. The kids, hubby and I all really loved it.

Mushroom Chicken
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
  2. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3. Salt and pepper
  4. 1 pound mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  5. 1/4 cup dry white wine (use water if wine is not available)
  6. 1/4 cup chicken broth
  7. 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high.
  2. Place flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish.
  3. Coat chicken and cook in batches until light brown, about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Reduce heat to medium, add mushrooms and 2 tablespoons oil. Cook until softened, 6 minutes.
  6. Add wine and broth.
  7. Cook, stirring, until reduced by half, 3 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Return chicken to pan, top with parsley.
  10. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Mama Chit Chat http://www.mamachitchat.com/

Honey Lemon Chicken

 I recently shared a one pot dish with a friend only to realize I have never blogged about it. It’s one our family favorites! It’s easy, has a protein, veggie and a carb all in one pot. Totally my kind of meal. Hope you enjoy it!Ingredients

Onion, chopped

1 lb chicken breast

4 carrots, thinly sliced

2 tbs honey

2 tbs lemon juice

2 tbs soy sauce

1.5 cup uncooked rice

2 cups water

2 cups broth

Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Heat oil in pan and sauté onion for 1 minute. Set aside.

2. Brown chicken on both sides. Set aside.

3. Add rice, honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, water and broth. Bring to boil.

4. Dice carrots. Add to pot.

5. Put chicken back in pot. Reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes (or until liquid is absorbed).Enjoy!

Honey Lemon Chicken
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Ingredients
  1. Onion, chopped
  2. 1 lb chicken breast
  3. 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  4. 2 tbs honey
  5. 2 tbs lemon juice
  6. 2 tbs soy sauce
  7. 1.5 cup uncooked rice
  8. 2 cups water
  9. 2 cups broth
  10. Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. Heat oil in pan and sauté onion for 1 minute. Set aside.
  2. 2. Brown chicken on both sides.
  3. 3. Add rice, carrots, honey, soy sauce and lemon juice.
  4. 4. Add water and broth. Bring to boil.
  5. 5. Reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Mama Chit Chat http://www.mamachitchat.com/
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