Whole 30 (our adventures so far…)

ManagingtheEveryday

We are on Day 5 of our Whole 30. To sum it up so far…

Day 1: We can do this! Yay! Optimism! We are awesome!

Day 2: Major brain-fog and headaches. But we can still do this. We ARE doing this.

Day 3: Feeling better. Slight headache. Realize we should be eating larger meals. Juan has started dreaming of food every night.

Day 4: Stop at the grocery store. Reading labels. Why is there sugar in EVERYTHING? (Seriously, it’s crazy. Definitely eye-opening.) Notice that we are feeling a lot more energized that we usually do on weekends. Probably due to switching out our heavy carb & sugar weekend breakfasts for protein & veggies. 

Day 5: Feeling really good. My skin is having a major freak-out, but I think this is normal.

Managing the Everyday
Breakfast: Thin sliced potatoes topped with sautéed spinach and a fried egg.

Overall, it’s been going well. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping ourselves away from things we can’t eat, which definitely helps. If you can’t see it, it’s not as tempting. (I will admit that I got a little jealous watching Javi happily enjoying his graham crackers and milk.)

ManagingtheeverydayBut he also likes our Whole 30 foods too. Veggie soup? Yes please!

Our first Date Night is coming up this week and that will be interesting. We are used to going out for dinner, grabbing coffee and dessert afterwards and basically orienting the whole evening around food.

Now that a lot of food options are off-limits, we need to switch it up. Right now we are thinking of going to a movie and maybe smuggling in some nuts & dried fruit.

But enough about what we can’t eat. Here’s what we can…

The Eats

My mum (Hi Mumsie) keeps reminding me of recipes I love that can easily be made Whole30 compliant. I’m going to work these in to this week’s menu. 

ManagingtheEverydayDinner: Grass-fed beef burgers and homemade sweet potato fries.

For starters, the best pot roast recipe I have ever tried (I’ll be using Trader Joe’s veggie broth instead of wine & beef broth) and delicious Tom Kha Gai soup (double check that your fish sauce doesn’t have sugar. We had to buy a different kind.)

I’ll also be making quick & easy Salmon en Papillote (no changes necessary!)

Zoodles!Dinner: Zoodles with Ground Turkey & Tomato Sauce

And our new favorite Zoodles! (Zucchini Noodles). Basically, julienne a zucchini into long noodle-ish strips. I like to use our Mandoline slicer, but there are also specific veggie noodle tools out there too.

Sautee in a little olive oil with salt & pepper. Serve as you would regular pasta noodles. Juan voted them “Delicious!” and I agree. So simple and so good. 

We can do this. We ARE doing this!

Any recipe recommendations?

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Easy Salmon en Papillote

Managing the Everyday: Easy Salmon en Papillote

Whenever my siblings or I go up and visit our Mum and her husband on Lummi Island, we usually come home with something: Homemade jam, garden-fresh zucchini, eggs from the chickens, etc. 

The last time my sister went to visit, she came back to Seattle with salmon & halibut from their recent fishing trip in Canada. The best part? She brought some for us too!

One of my favorite ways to cook salmon is to bake it in parchment paper. Also known as salmon en papillote, if you are feeling fancy.

It’s super easy, fast and delicious. 

Salmon en Papillote

Ingredients: 
Salmon
salt & pepper
1 lemon
1 package fresh dill

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Tear off a long piece of parchment paper. How long? About 3 times as wide as your fish, if in doubt use more. You can always trim off the extra, but you will be out of luck if it is too short. 
  3. Put the parchment paper on a baking sheet and lay the fish on top.
  4. Season the fish with salt, fresh ground pepper and lemon juice. 
  5. Add lemon slices and fresh dill. 
  6. Cover the fish with the rest of the parchment paper and roll/crimp the edges together. Be sure to seal it up well so no steam or juice can escape while cooking.
  7. Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish.

Managing the Everyday: Easy Salmon en Papillote

This method also works well for other types of fish. You can even add veggies (zucchini, cherry tomatoes, etc.) to the packets or make additional veggie packets. 

Let’s Do Breakfast: Baked Eggs with Spinach & Ham

Managing the Everyday: Baked Eggs with Spinach & HamPart of our morning routine is having breakfast as a family. No matter what, breakfast happens. 

I love starting the day sitting across from Juan, sipping my cup of coffee and talking about our plans for the day. These days, Javi joins us at the table too – something we all enjoy. 

During the week, we try to keep things easy & quick. Often this means a slice of quiche that I’ve made earlier in the week or scrambled eggs & toast. As much as I love those things, it’s always fun to try something new.

Here is the latest breakfast recipe we’ve tried. Delicious & simple – you could even make these ahead and reheat them in the morning. They also would be great for a quick to-go breakfast option – just put on a lid and you are good to go!

Baked Eggs with Spinach & Ham
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Ingredients
  1. 1 T butter (extra to grease)
  2. 1 C spinach
  3. 1/4 C ham or Canadian bacon (diced)
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 4 T cream or half & half
  6. 4 T Cheddar cheese (grated)
  7. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grease 4 ramekins or small mason jars with butter.
  3. In a small pan, sauté the spinach in butter until wilted.
  4. Divide the spinach among the ramekins. Add the ham.
  5. Crack one egg in each ramekin and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon cream or half & half to each ramekin and sprinkle the cheese on top.
  7. Place the ramekins in an oven safe dish and fill the dish with boiling water until the water reaches halfway up each ramekin.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the yolks are still a little runny. Add more time if you want fully cooked yolks.
Notes
  1. This is a very versatile recipe. Feel free to add/change the veggies/meat/cheese: tomatoes, caramelized onions, bacon, diced zucchini, feta, etc. The flavor options are endless!
Adapted from Donal Skehan
Adapted from Donal Skehan
Managing the Everyday http://www.managingtheeveryday.com/

Simple Homemade Baby Wipe Solution

Managing the Everyday: Simple Homemade Baby Wipe Solution

Things are still going well in gDiaper-land. We just got a new box of disposable inserts and finally signed up to have them delivered every month through AmazonMom (the absolute best price I’ve found so far). 

Recently, I decided to make reusable baby wipes. 

This had been my intention all along. However, like using cloth diapers, I just didn’t get around to it before Javi was born and after he was born I was a little busy (to say the least). 

I already had a giant stack of thin baby washcloths and just needed a cleaning solution.

After looking at several recipes, I decided on this:

Simple, Homemade Baby Wipe Solution

  • 4 cups water 
  • 1 Tablespoon organic coconut oil (we got ours from Trader Joes, also available here).
  • 1 Tablespoon Dr. Bronner’s Baby Mild Liquid Castile Soap (this is what we use to bathe Javi, I think any other natural liquid baby wash would work just fine.)

Since it’s hot out, our coconut oil was already liquified. If yours is solid, put it in the microwave for a few seconds. Mix the ingredients together and pour into a spray bottle.  

To use, spray some solution on a cloth and then wipe as usual.

So far, it’s working well. We still carry disposable wipes in our diaper bag and also use them when Javi has a poopy diaper. We could use the cloth ones, but I just don’t want to deal with having to rinse them out afterwards. I’m thinking of getting some paper towels so I can use the spray, but still be able to throw them away.

Want to try this, but don’t want to use cloth wipes? Check out this blog for instructions using Bounty paper towels – you can make a bunch of wipes at once and pull them out of a container just like store-bought wipes.

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Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean + Goat Cheese Enchiladas

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean + Goat Cheese Enchiladas

It’s almost that time of year when everyone and their mother (or maybe it’s just my mum?) will be eagerly sharing (pushing?) their overabundance of garden-fresh zucchini on family, friends & coworkers. 

This year, I’m ready. (Bring it on, Mumsie). 

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean + Goat Cheese Enchiladas

I found this recipe for Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Enchiladas from Sprouted Kitchen on a friend’s Pinterest board and decided to give it a shot. Creamy, a little spicy and packed full of flavor, these enchiladas are now one of our new favorites. 

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean + Goat Cheese Enchiladas

 

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Enchiladas
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Ingredients
  1. 3 large zucchini, diced (about 4 cups chopped)
  2. 3 tsp olive oil, divided
  3. 1 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
  4. 4 green onions, finely chopped
  5. 1 15oz can / 2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  6. 5 oz soft goat cheese
  7. 10 corn tortillas (more or less, depending on how full you fill them)
  8. 12 oz red enchilada sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the chopped zucchini on a baking tray and toss with 2 tsp olive oil and lemon pepper to coat. (Using your hands is easiest).
  2. Spread the zucchini out on the tray and roast for 30 minutes, or until it is looking nice and browned around the edges. Remove & cool. Turn the oven down to 375F.
  3. Combine the green onion, black beans & crumbled goat cheese. Add the cooled zucchini & carefully toss together.
  4. Cover the bottom of an oven proof dish with about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce.
  5. Fill a tortilla with approximately 1/4 cup of the filling, Fold/roll the rest of the tortilla around the filling and place it seam-side down in the pan.
  6. Continue with the rest of the tortillas, setting them in the pan in a cozy row.
  7. Brush the tops of the tortillas with the remaining olive oil and pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through.
  9. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Notes
  1. Serve with cilantro, avocado, sour cream and/or freshly squeezed lime juice.
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
Managing the Everyday http://www.managingtheeveryday.com/

These enchiladas were the perfect summertime dish for our impromptu indoor picnic. I can even imagine them in the fall with yams or butternut squash instead of zucchini. 

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean + Goat Cheese Enchiladas

p.s. I roasted the zucchini on a Silpat. Have you tried these yet? They are amazing. 

Note: This post contains affiliate links

Potato Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Potato Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

How about you bring a potato salad?

Potato salad is a classic picnic side dish. Usually full of mayonnaise and eggs, it is something that I don’t usually like. (Juan, however, LOVES the stuff.)

When we were asked to bring potato salad for our family 4th of July picnic, I went searching for a fresh take on this traditional favorite. I found a few (see them here) and decided on a recipe by Emily Hasselbrink.

The recipe called for a colorful assortment of little potatoes, but I was only able to find regular-sized red potatoes. They worked great. 

Potato Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

The green beans give this salad a nice almost-crunch and the cherry tomatoes are a wonderful burst of summer flavor – not to mention beautiful color. I love beautiful colorful food – don’t you?

Potato Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

The sweet & tangy vinaigrette brings it all together. It’s my kind of potato salad. 

Potato Salad with Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

Potato Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
A delicious and colorful spin on the traditional potato salad.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 pounds potatoes (if using large potatoes, half or quarter them for shorter cooking time).
  2. 1 small red onion, diced
  3. 5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, divided
  4. 1 1/2 cups green beans, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  7. 2 tablespoons honey
  8. 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  9. 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  10. 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
  11. 3 tablespoons minced chives
  12. Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes or until they are cooked through, but still firm. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. Bring another pot of water to boil for green beans. Blanch for one minute, drain & rinse under cold water.
  3. Toss the diced red onion with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  4. Whisk together the olive oil, mustard, honey and 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  5. Slice the cooled potatoes into 1-2 inch pieces and put them in a large bowl.
  6. Add onions, green beans, cherry tomatoes, parsley, chives, pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  7. Carefully toss with the honey mustard vinaigrette.
  8. Add more salt to taste, if desired.
Adapted from Red, White & Blue Potato Salad
Managing the Everyday http://www.managingtheeveryday.com/

p.s. Do you know the difference between vinegarette and vinaigrette?

Save the Basil!

Save the Basil
We have killed more basil plants than I can count.

I love fresh basil and buying plants always seems like a good idea, but they don’t survive more than a few months at our home.

So instead I now buy packages of basil.

The only problem with the packages is that they always contain more basil than I need and some of it ends up going bad before I have a chance to use it.

To solve that problem, I’ve started making fresh basil & olive oil ice cubes. They are super easy and mean that I always have “fresh” basil on hand for making delicious tomato sauce.

  1. Remove the basil leaves from the stem.
  2. Rinse & dry the leaves.
  3. Chop the basil into small pieces. Tip: Stack several leaves together and roll them up like a jelly-roll before cutting them. It’s much faster.
  4. Fill each section of an ice cube tray with the chopped basil.
  5. Add olive oil. (I like to add a little water too, but this isn’t necessary).
  6. Freeze.
  7. When they are frozen, pop the cubes out of the tray and store them in the freezer in a mason jar or zip-lock bag.

To use: Put a cube or two in a hot pan. The pan will slowly melt the cube and soon your kitchen will smell like wonderful, fresh basil.

Quiche Me Baby

Quiche Me Baby

When we came back from Paris, I was inspired to make quiche. That first quiche turned into a weekly ritual.

Each Monday night, I made that week’s quiche and for the rest of the week, we started the day with a warm slice of homemade quiche and fresh fruit. A definite upgrade from our usual cold cereal breakfast and just as easy on rushed mornings.

Then I got pregnant.

Even the idea of food made me feel gross and I was so exhausted that I pretty much stopped cooking.

Thankfully, I’m feeling much better and that means…

Quiche!

Olive Oil Quiche Crust

When I first started making quiche, I tried making all-butter pastry crusts. These have the potential to be awesome (mine often weren’t that great), but they also took a long time. I tried the pre-made pastry route, which was definitely faster but could get pricey and I didn’t always like the flavor.

The solution? Olive Oil Quiche Crust

When I first found this recipe, I wasn’t sure if it would really work. I’m happy to say it is by far the easiest, fastest quiche crust I’ve made. Seriously, 10 minutes and you’re done:

Olive Oil Quiche Crust

1 cup flour
1/2t salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup very cold water

  1. Measure the water into a large liquid measuring cup or bowl. Put it in the freezer to chill (but not to freeze, you want it cold. Not frozen.)
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour & salt with a fork.
  3. Take the water out of the freezer and add the olive oil.
  4. Mix the water & olive oil together with a fork until they start to thicken.
  5. Add the water/olive oil mix to the flour and mix until well blended.
  6. Press the mixture into the pie plate.
  7. Add the quiche mix (see below).
  8. Bake at 400F until the middle of the quiche looks set (Usually about 35 minutes, depending on your quiche filling. Give the quiche a little shake and see if the middle wiggles or looks soppy. If it does, it needs more time).

Basic Quiche

This is the first quiche recipe I used and it is awesome. I’ve adapted it a little (don’t you love how everyone leaves comments on recipes saying “this recipe is great, the only thing I changed was…” ?).

The original recipe calls for 2 cups half & half. I’ve played around with the dairy fat percentages and 1 cup 2% milk & 1 cup half & half is my favorite.

The result isn’t as rich as 2 cups half & half, so I eat more quiche to compensate for the lost calories. I tried all 2% milk, but I felt the texture wasn’t “quiche-y” enough. Gotta have some fat.

I also adjusted the cooking temp from 425F to 400F because of the olive oil crust.

Basic Quiche

4 eggs
1 cup Half & Half
1 cup milk (I use 2%)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Your choice of Additions: Cheese, Veggies, Meat (Some favorites: Ham & Cheese, Spinach, Tomato & Feta, Leek, Chard & Whatever Else is in the Fridge)

  1. Put your additions in the quiche shell. (Tips: Cubed cheese works better than shredded. Tear or chop spinach and other greens into smaller pieces. If you are using tomato and feeling fancy, save some slices to arrange on top after you add the liquid mixture in Step #3)
  2. Whisk together the eggs, half & half and milk. Season with the salt, pepper and ground nutmeg.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over everything else.
  4. Bake at 400F until the middle of the quiche looks set (Usually about 35 minutes, depending on your quiche filling. Give the quiche a little shake and see if the middle wiggles or looks soppy. If it does, it needs more time).

Paleo Pecan Pie Bars

 

When I realized it was my half-birthday the other day, I decided that meant 1/2 a cake.

But then I remembered this Paleo thing I’m trying. So I instead of cake, I went to the internet and found a recipe for No-Bake Pecan Pie bars. (For the original recipe, step-by-step photos and instructions for a chocolate-covered variation, click here to check it out at Detoxinista.com).

Sadly, I have a tendency to rush through recipes without reading all of the instructions. For example, “put in the freezer for at least 6 hours“.

Wait. What?!

So my half-birthday treat turned into half-birthday+1 day treat.

They were totally worth the wait.

Paleo Pecan Pie Bars

What you are going to need:

2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
3 cups raw pecans
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt

8″x8″ baking dish
Parchment paper (or plastic wrap or aluminium foil)
Blender/food processor

Instructions

1. Line your 8″8″ baking dish with parchment paper so you can easily remove the bars when they are done. 

2. Blend together 1 cup dates, 1 cup pecans, 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. This is the crust.

3. Press the crust evenly over the bottom of the lined baking dish. Put it in the freezer to set.

4. Blend together 1 cup dates, 1 cup pecans, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup & 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix and scrape the sides until the mixture is smooth. This is the filling.

5. Take the crust out of the freezer and add the filling, smoothing it out evenly.

6. Lightly press the remaining pecans into the filling. (Note: I got creative here and made a pretty pattern with the pecans.)

7. Put the dish back in the freezer and let the bars set for at least 6 hours.

Enjoy!

6-Pack Turkey Abs / Quick No-Knead Yeast Rolls

Quick No-Knead Yeast Rolls

Hello!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. As you might have noticed, I had a very relaxing weekend. So much in fact that I decided to stay in turkey coma mode all week. At least that’s what I’m using to justify a whole week without blog posts. But now I’m back.

Our Thanksgiving dinner was a great success. The turkey lived up to its reputation and the recipe showed up in a few other kitchens as well this year (with great success, I’ve been told). We also roasted up some Delicata Squash & Chard and I made some quick and easy, no-kneading-required yeast rolls (Recipe below).

Some thoughts from the feast:

1. Putting your 22lb turkey upside down in your new and awesome roasting pan results in 6-pack abs. For the turkey.

 

That’s why you carve it before it comes to the table. Then it looks like this:

 

2. Holding turkey leftovers in your hand while trying to photograph the doggie guests at your meal will give you 1) in-focus photos of dogs and 2) photos of sad looking dogs.

3. Fresh baked rolls hot from the oven and spread with rich, creamy butter are one of life’s great pleasures.

Quick No-Knead Yeast Rolls (adapted from AllRecipes.com)

2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons white sugar
1 cup hot water
1 package Rapid Rise Yeast (You can use regular yeast, this is just faster).
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Combine butter, sugar & hot water in a large bowl.
3. Once the butter has melted, stir in the yeast until it is dissolved.
4. Add the egg, salt & flour.
5. Mix it up. Don’t be concerned if the dough seems extra sticky, it’s supposed to be. DON’T ADD MORE FLOUR.
6. Cover the dough and let it rise.
7. Spoon (or just start grabbing it with your hands) the dough equally into a well-greased muffin tin. Again, DON’T ADD MORE FLOUR. I mean it.
8. Cover again and let the rolls rise a bit more.
9. When they are nice and puffy looking (yes, that is now a baking term) put them in the oven for 7-10 minutes.

Enjoy!

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