Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Big Tasty Salad

For dinner tonight, I decided to make a salad. Unfortunately, I am one of those weird people who builds a salad with all the things that make it barely a salad anymore. My favorite salad used to be from Bailey's in Duluth, Georgia. It had iceberg lettuce, carrots, fried chicken slices, cheese, bacon bits (that I doubt were real), croutons, and ranch dressing. So not a salad... few veggies topped with processed crap and trans fats and grains... super healthy right!? Well, that's the kind of salad I like, so I decided to try to replicate it with real food and I got this...

Doesn't it look delicious!? It was! I used only quality real food and it took a little more effort and time but it was totally worth it! I have some extra chicken that I fully intend to use later this week :)

On to the recipe! Shout out to the websites that helped make this possible: Mark's Daily Apple and Gen Y Foodie. Thanks for the great recipes that made my dream salad a reality!

Big Tasty Salad

  • 3 handfuls of greens ( I used organic baby spinach and organic romaine lettuce)
  • 1 Tbsp bacon bits (just crumble some crispy nitrate free bacon)
  • 2 Tbsp Organic shredded cheese (I use cheddar and colby)
  • 2-3 Chicken Tenders sliced
  • Drizzle with Ranch Dressing
This recipe is pretty simple... just assemble and then toss to coat with the dressing. Here are some pictures of the assembly process...

Greens and Bacon Bits

Chicken Tenders fresh from the oven! Yum!!!

Chicken tenders cooled for 5 minutes and sliced

A close view that shows the cheese

The first bite!! It was so good and I am super full!! It was a complete success!

The 21 Day Primal Challenge

Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying the beginning of Spring! I mentioned in a previous post that I find many good grain free recipes by searching the Paleo blogs. In my recipe searches, I discovered Mark's Daily Apple and The Primal Blueprint and was intrigued. As I read through several success stories and articles on being Primal, I realized that I was already pretty much doing this. So I decided to take it a step further and take the 21 Day Challenge. It only requires a few changes from my current lifestyle so why not!?

Some of the 21 Day Challenge changes I will be making include:

  1. Eating more leafy veggies (check out my Big Tasty Salad)
  2. Eating more animal fat and butter :)
  3. Eating less starch and baked goods (even primal approved ones, I realized in my research that I may have been going a tad overboard which is why my weight loss is slow... see details here)
  4. More walking (I currently walk at least 30 minutes, 3-5 days a week)
  5. Full body workouts a couple times a week (We are thinking about trying CrossFit)
  6. Playing more (with the dog and my hubby)
  7. Paying more attention to my carb and protein intake (check out the Carb Curve to decide what your own carb intake should be)
Have you done the challenge? Let me know how you did! I tried to start it about a week ago but failed when I ate cheesecake... with a real graham cracker crust! *Gasp!* I know... I payed for it though, got something like food poisoning for a whole day! Serves me right for eating grains after going so long without them!

Anyway, here's to making mistakes and picking yourself up to try again! We are all human after all! I figured if I put my challenge on here, it would give me some accountability and keep me from being as tempted to cheat! So wish me luck internet world! Here's to my health!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Grain Free Grilled Cheese and Potato Slices

Hello everyone! Next week is my Spring Break, both from school and work! I can't wait for a break from my Econ class... all of my other classes are online so Spring Break just means nothing is due. I plan to get ahead on some of my assignments including finishing 2 papers that are due within the next few weeks! Plus, I might even have some time to read for pleasure next week! Yea I know, I'm a nerd... I am still hoping my BFF is coming up to visit next week and we can do our usual stuff. And by usual stuff, I mean act like idiots in public, watch girl movies, and drink :)

Lets try to get back on subject here...

Doesn't it look yummy!?

Lunch - I love potatoes and I love grilled cheese sandwiches but I'm grain free now so I've been trying to come up with other ways to eat my old fav foods. I know a lot of people are going with out potatoes these days and I mostly do but I love them, so I have a potato dish every once in a while. Today was one of those times...

When I was younger, my mom used to make me her delicious version of homemade "chips." I now make them for myself because they are so yummy and quite simple.

Potato Slices

 1-2 Organic Russet Potatoes
Olive Oil Spray
*Other spices can be added as desired, I just wanted them simple today. I have tried red pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, all are good!

Preheat oven to 375.
Slice potatoes thinly, see the pic to the left, but not too thin, you will see why later.
Spray a foil covered cookie sheet with oil.
Place potato slices in a single layer on the cookie sheet.
Spray the tops of the slices with a light layer of oil and sprinkle with salt and other spices.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Watch them as the thinner ones will burn quickly.
Flip halfway through baking, spray and season other side.
When they are done they should look like the picture below... 

 They should not look like this... This is what happens if you leave them in too long :(

 Grain Free Grilled Cheese

(I doubled the recipe to make it more like a normal size loaf)
1-2 ounces Extra Sharp Aged Gouda
3 slices Nitrate Free Deli Ham
1 Tbsp Organic Butter

Spread 1/2 Tbsp butter on one side of each slice of bread.
Place the butter side down on a hot skillet.
After about a minute, put the ham on one slice and put the cheese on top of the ham.
Flip the second slice on top of the cheese.
After about a minute, flip the whole sandwich, cook for 1-2 more minutes or until the sandwich is golden brown on both sides.
It will be hard to eat like a traditional grilled cheese, it fell apart a little but it was delicious!