Clean Eating, Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Meatball Problems

I don’t know what the hell is wrong with ground chicken but it’s not normal. You know that rumor that a certain fast food chain’s chicken nuggets are made out of pink goop? article-0-1B2DDB7B00000578-134_634x630

Photo courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2551238/McDonalds-reveal-EXACTLY-chicken-nuggets-note-not-pink-goop.html

It’s not goop, that’s fricken ground chicken!

I tried to make these chicken meatballs stuffed with goat cheese. Key word: “tried”. I used ground up rolled oats in place of breadcrumbs and added 1/8 cup of almond milk instead of 1/4 cup of regular, but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. The mixture was very wet and sticky and I knew there was no way of forming little balls out of this goop!

I ground up extra oats to, hopefully, dry the mixture out a bit, but it still wasn’t forming balls. I dumped all the oats in my cupboard into the blender and ground them up but still ended up with a giant bowl of pink goop that would not form.

Ready to give up and order a pizza, my chef husband jumps in to save the day.

He threw the large glob in a large skillet and scramble fried it until it resembled crumbled sausage.

Meanwhile I made a basic tomato sauce:
In olive oil, sauté one medium, diced white onion and two minced cloves of garlic in a large pot on medium for 3 minutes. Add one diced red pepper and continue to sauté until softened. Add a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, one bay leaf, pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper and simmer for half an hour.

I asked my Facebook friends for help picking a delicious alternative to white pasta and, thankfully, my good friends Jax and Brooke pointed me in the direction of brown rice pasta. I tossed the brown rice linguini with the chicken, the sauce, and the goat cheese, topped with fresh parsley and grated Grana Padano.

It was fantastic! Thank you Jax and Brooke! The brown rice pasta tastes like the white wheat pasta! And if you use the gluten free rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs you have yourself a delicious gluten free meal.

20140804-201239-72759832.jpgYou can feel good about going in for seconds of this clean eating pasta dish.

Do you have a favourite gluten free, go to? Leave me a comment!

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Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Don’t let the name fool you these are very clean eating.

My maid of honor made these for me for my bridal shower over two years ago and, today, I stumbled upon the recipe she left for me. I twerked her recipe in order to qualify this one as clean. Hope you enjoy!

Clean Eating Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Melt 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips and 1/2 tbsp coconut oil in a double boiler. Don’t get fancy here, just boil an inch or two of water in a large sauce pan and put a stainless steel bowl on top. Dip large strawberries in the melted chocolate mixture and place on a wax paper lined plate or baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least an hour to set the chocolate. Makes about 10.

I had some chocolate left over so I threw in some blueberries, tossed to coat and put in the fridge along side the strawberries. I can’t wait to dive in.

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Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Confessions

I have a confession… I haven’t been so good lately with my clean eating.

There were temptations lurking all around my kitchen just begging to be consumed. And I really wanted a steak… or three.

Since starting my clean eating experiment I have cheated in the following ways:

  1. I had one ginger ale per week in weeks 2, 3 and 4. Sometimes I sneak a sip of my husband’s coke.
  2. I drink beer once in a while. Like, one after my son goes to bed and only two or three times a week. And its not some gluten free, craft beer either. It’s good ol’ fashioned Lucky Lager. (Hey, I am an islander.)
  3. I sometimes skip meals and my snacks have become non existent. This has only been happening for the last week or so.
  4. I bought some steaks two weeks ago and we BBQ’d a couple of them up. They were so good I had them again the following week. No the cow wasn’t grass fed. Actually, I don’t know what the cow was eating. Probably a shit ton of hormones and chemicals.
  5. Last night I had white bread…AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!
  6. Last night I also had enough meat to last for a whole week. There were prawn skewers and chicken covered in bruschetta and thick juicy steaks! In my defence, we were at someone else’s house and you can’t turn down what your host puts in front of you, it would be rude…There was also chocolate bunt cake.
  7. I had white pasta, but you already knew that if you have been keeping up with my blog. Go to the post about Day 30 to find out why I will keep white pasta in my pantry.
  8. I drink coffee. Once a day. I need that morning jolt! I finished the artificial coffee creamer I had left in my fridge and have vowed to never buy it again.

This last week has been the hardest trying to stick with a clean eating plan because we have had family in town visiting and there was a lot of eating outside of my kitchen and only so much I could control.

Also, I think my son is teething and he’s turned into a little psycho, making my nerves a little frayed and little to no time to do elaborate meal planning. I’m surprised (and quite proud) I haven’t hit up McDonald’s yet.

Even though I am down to 127.2 lbs (from 135.6 lbs), I have been feeling a little run down lately and that just goes to show you how much our diet affects our energy stores. I’ve realized that, if I am not careful with what I choose to ingest, it doesn’t just affect me, but my son as well.

I feel like it was easier when I had the meals already planned out for me and so now I am on the hunt for a new clean eating challenge. Perhaps, when you are perusing Pintrest, you could keep an eye out for me for a new one or, if you already have one leave me the link in the comments. Thanks for reading!

 

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Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Chickpea Super Bowl

Sometimes I feel like I’m in the Chopped kitchen or on Master Chef when I’m going through my fridge and cupboards looking for something to make for dinner. If you’ve never seen the shows, contestants get these mystery baskets with five or so ingredients that you wouldn’t think go together and they have to come up with dishes for the judges.

Tonight was one of those nights. I had no meats thawed, hardly any produce and no clue as to what to make for dinner. I was on Instagram, scrolling through my home page, and I saw a recipe from @SkinnyKitchen that made me look twice: a chickpea avocado bowl.

I had all of the ingredients minus the nutritional yeast (apparently it acts like cheese for vegans), so I dove right in. As I was preparing the components to this masterpiece I realized that my avocado had passed into the inedible stage and so, I decided to take this dish in a different direction. Here’s my version:

Chickpea Super Bowl Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
1 tsp butter, grass fed or vegan is best
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 onion, diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tomato, diced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 generous handfuls spinach
2 oz feta, crumbled
2 tbsp hummus (I used red pepper hummus but any flavor will do)
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon

In a medium sauce pan, combine brown rice, 1.5 cups of water, 1 tsp of butter and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low and cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes until water is all absorbed. Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 1.5 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.

While the grains are cooking heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a skillet. Add diced onions and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add chickpeas and tomatoes and all of the seasonings. Sauté for about 5 minutes then add the spinach and feta. Continue to cook until spinach has wilted.

In each serving bowl, layer quinoa, brown rice then one tbsp of hummus. Top with the chickpea mixture, fresh parsley, and a squeeze of lemon.

That’s it that’s all! Hope you enjoy.

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Snap Saves

We all know that sometimes eating clean can be expensive. I’ve scoured over pages and pages of flyers from different grocery stores looking for the best deals and I’ve searched endlessly for coupons on the internet.

But I’ve noticed a sad trend: there are rarely coupons for fresh produce and fresh, wholesome foods altogether. Sure there are plenty of coupons for prepackaged, crap filled, frozen section, but what about the grass fed, hormone free chickens and beef? Why should we have to pay more to be healthy? Last I checked all those hormones and steroids cost a lot more than grass that was already growing.

Well I found some help. This app called Snap Saves. You can use it for android or iPhone.

It’s so simple. Just take a picture of your receipt and chose the offers you qualified for. There’s always tons of savings for produce. Usually $0.25-$1 for fresh produce, up to $10 for some items libel vitamins. Once you get to $20 you can request a cheque! It might not be much but every penny counts! Plus they always have a chance to win $100 by uploading a $40 receipt. And it’s not just for food either: right now there is air fresheners, Aveeno products, Lysol cleaning products and even wine!

This also allows us to be “extreme couponers” in a way in Canada since you can get the deal in the store and then go home and get more money back from your purchases.

I’ve got $7.25 in my account but I buy a lot of my produce at farmer’s markets (no receipts) so it’s kind of low.

You can sign up for this app (which is free) by clicking here. I wouldn’t promote it if I didn’t use it and like it. I really do use it every time I shop at a brick and mortar. It doesn’t cost you anything, I promise, and I’ve seen people actually get checks! I can’t wait for my first one!

snap saves

Photo courtesy of http://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=w2h5fl0Wf1CZUM&tbnid=d81jrOSxrSZc9M:&ved=0CAQQjB0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.canadianfreestuff.com%2Fsnap-saves-canada-offers%2F&ei=JPHLU-bvLMXwoASE-4GgCg&bvm=bv.71198958,d.cGU&psig=AFQjCNF7D8EEjCOwbskXoQpKMBNmpE-RdA&ust=1405960784598547

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Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

A Little Off Topic

I haven’t been around much these last couple days and for that, I apologize. I have been working hard to try and take this blog to the next level, to revamp it so as to make it more interesting to read. Then, I got so caught up in trying to make some extra cash out of the deal, I lost sight of why I actually do it in the first place: because I love it. I love just writing my thoughts and feelings down. I love sharing with all of you my day to day life and I love that you love reading about it.

Then one thing after another happened to us and it seemed like the universe was working against us. First, our dishwasher went on us, then my husband broke his cell phone, then the car was acting funny, then the truck died, the next day the car died, then a couple hours later my work laptop crashed.

It is taking every effort I’ve got to stay positive and look on the brighter side of things. It would be all too easy to bury my head in a large carton of double chocolate fudge ice cream, but I settled for a beer and a slice of lemon cake with raspberries. Only one slice.

It’s my cheat of the week.

Anyways, I promise to get back on track and keep on writing daily, or every other day maybe. I will continue my quest to rid my fridge and pantry of the processed and the refined, of the artificial and the chemical. I vow to continue to provide healthy alternatives to old habits and hopefully will pick up a good workout routine as well.

Thanks for reading folks.

P.S. If you have a special way you use to stay positive in troubled times let me know by leaving a comment.

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Health, Health and fitness, Uncategorized

Jamie Oliver Brings It Home

While searching my TED Talks app for something completely different, I happened upon a presentation by Jamie Oliver. Perhaps you’ve already seen it. It has over 5,000,000 views. If you haven’t seen it you can do so here: 

He really drives home how important it is for our health and well being to eat clean and how important it is to teach our children about how to prepare and eat real, wholesome food, which was one of the main reasons I started this whole clean eating experiment. I hope that, through my own actions, I can teach my young son the importance of cooking at home and eating right.

I am not saying that my child will never set foot in a McDonald’s or taste the sweet amazingness of Ben & Jerry’s (which is still on sale, by the way). But I hope he will develop a mature palate and a love of all foods whole. Baby fat, after all, is only cute on babies!

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