Who got me a stripper??

It has been a busy week and a half for me!  Just about two weeks ago I got to help one of my best friends celebrate her 30th birthday with an amazing party at a local bar.  I donated a hotel room to the cause, which was the site of a little girl bonding time while we were getting ready and an after party.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a party that I was at (or hosting) unless there was a random pop-in by the police.  IMG_7651No… We weren’t that awful!  I am in my 30s… I am somewhat respectful (shush).  The people a few rooms down weren’t all that respectful, though, and filled the hall with some very rank weed smoke.  Blech!  The cops heard our music, stopped by, and of course I made friends with them.  Sometimes, making a police officer laugh (in this case five police officers laugh) is enough for me.  Brings me back to my birthday when my cousin, Sarah, and I moved into together when I was right out of college.  We were pre-gamming prior to going out to the bar when there was a pounding on the apartment door.  Me, being me, got up to answer the door and on the way to the door says loudly… “Which one of you guys got me a cop stripper???”  I open the door, and who else would be standing there but  a police man.  I don’t know whose face was more red… Mine or his.  Turns out he was looking for the previous resident.  Good laughs all around for that one.

The Monday after my friend’s birthday I started the Whole30 again.  I did this downloadonce before a few years back to help get my body rid of toxins and launched into a year of paleo eating.  I have pretty much eaten clean since, taking learning’s of my paleo stint into my cooking, but felt the need to get my system clean of hormones and toxins.  I’m now a week and a half into it and feel pretty good.  Not going to lie… The first few days were hell… My body wanted SUGAR!!!!  I stayed strong and maintained composure (sorry to my coworkers if I was snappy last week).

Last night I wanted to do something different for dinner.  I was doing just meats or eggs and veggies for dinners and lunches since I was low on time, but last night I felt inspired.  I had a leftover cooked acorn squash from the previous night that I wanted to use for D and I, and I wanted to stuff it.  One of my favorite acorn squash recipes is a turkey stuffed acorn squash with rice and butter and cheese… Well, three of those things are not allowed on the Whole30, so I got to brainstorming, and this is what I came up with.

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Creamy Cauliflower and Zucchini Rice

Ingredients

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  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2T bacon fat
  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned, light or full fat)
  • 1T nutritional yeast
  • 1t sea salt
  • 1t black pepper
  • 1t herbes de provence

Directions

  1. Prepare food processor with the shredding blade attached.

2.  Slice cauliflower so that it fits in your food processor funnel, and go to town. Mini Me enjoyed helping me with this.  She was the official button-presser.

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3.  Once all of your cauliflower is “riced”, pour into a bowl and set aside. Cut the ends off the zucchini, and shred away!  Pour into a bowl and set aside.

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4.  Repeat shredding process one last time with the onion and garlic cloves.

5.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2T of bacon fat until melted.

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6.  Pour in onion and garlic combination and sauté for a few minutes (until fragrant).

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7.  Add coconut milk, cauliflower, zucchini, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and herbes de provence. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 12-15 minutes stirring occasionally.

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This cauliflower rice can be used alone as a side, topped with a meat, over easy eggs (yummy breakfast this morning), or as a stuffing for various other vegetables.  Hope you enjoy as much as we all did!!

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Makes around 6 large servings.

Cal – 145, Fat – 9g, Carb – 15g, Protein – 5g

Hash House a Snow Snow

Yesterday was a cold winter’s day in Chicago, and all was quiet…  Except for the plows going by the house every 10 minutes starting at 3:45am, knocking over garbage cans, the garbage men coming through the neighborhood, and the insanity of a three year old little girl who loves chasing two little barking dogs (a 5lb Chihuahua named prince and a 7lb mini dachshund named Isabel).  Ahhh… This is my life.  While it is chaotic, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

After deciding at 5am when my alarm went off (after listening to previously mentioned plows go past the house for a good hour) that I was not going to be able to get a morning run in, I rolled out of bed determined to do something with my day.  I had HUGE plans.  Plans that included cooking, cleaning, and having a dance party with mini me.  Like I said… HUGE plans.

I downed a cup of coffee, made some breakfast (pictured below – sauteed spinach topped with egg whites, Babybel cheese, and sriracha), and started with my day.

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My cooking plans for the day included making a sweet potato hash, inspired by my mom’s farmhouse hash she had made for our Christmas celebrations with our family.  It was the perfect addition to eggs.  Don’t get me wrong – I love my eggs, but I was in search of something to make them more exciting.  I knew that I wanted to add some more veggies (let’s be real – who has a hard time getting all their veggies in every day??) and use sweet potatoes (more nutrient dense than white potatoes).

Here is what I came up with.

Sweet Potato Hash

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Ingredients:

  • 1.00 container (16 slices ea.), Low Sodium Bacon
  • 2.00 lb(s), Sweet potato – Cooked, baked in skin, without salt (Sweetpotato)
  • 0.25 cup(s), Oil – Olive
  • 13.50 oz(s), Onions – Raw
  • 2.00 lb(s), Squash – Zucchini, includes skin, raw
  • 12.00 oz(s), Spinach – Raw
  • 5.00 clove(s), Garlic – Raw
  • 1.00 tbsp(s), Spices – Thyme, dried
  • 0.20 oz(s), Spices – Rosemary, fresh
  • 2.00 tsp, Salt
  • 0.50 teaspoon, Crushed Red Chili Pepper Flakes

Directions:

Peel and chop sweet potatoes into small cubes, toss with olive oil and roast at 425 for 25 minutes, flipping once in the middle of baking.

While potatoes are baking, chop onions and zucchini into small cubes; mince garlic, and chop rosemary.  Chop Bacon into small pieces.

Saute bacon in a large skillet until crispy.  Remove from pan leaving the bacon grease for sauteing vegetables.  Add onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).  Add zucchini.  Cook until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add spinach and stir until wilted.  Add bacon and sweet potatoes back in and heat through to combine.

Makes 14 servings (¾ cup per serving, around 6 ounces).

Cals – 169, Fat – 7.7g, Carbs – 19.8g, Protein – 6g

This recipe turned out amazing, and was just what I was looking for!  Would be a great side dish for dinners as well as a nice addition to a morning meal.  I ended up packing up half of mine and freezing it for next week.  I scooping the rest out into pre portioned containers for easy grabs in the morning to bring into the office.

Hope you all enjoy!