Go home Mother Nature… You’re Drunk

brrrrr

Brrrr…. This extreme winter weather is about killing me!  Woke up this morning to -9 degrees with a feels-like temperature of -28.  That’s in Fahrenheit to all my international, folks.  IMG_7220  Not even kidding.  Right now, it is actually warmer in Antarctica than it is Chicago.  It’s a nice 29 degrees Fahrenheit there.  See ya later folks, I’m moving to Antarctica.  Go home, Mother Nature… You’re Drunk.

The temperatures are more than just cold, they are draining.  I used to be able to get outside for a run in the mornings, but when it is this cold (anything lower than 15 degrees I don’t run outside) I don’t even bother – too dangerous for me.  No outside run, means no fresh air, no Vitamin D, no energy.  I’ve been supplementing with my ½ bottles of 5 hour energy pre-workouts, a nice little shot of espresso after my workouts, and a mug of coffee on the way into work.  This is probably waaaaayyyy too much caffeine, but I’m dragging.

Because I’m dragging, and it’s the first full week back to work, I wanted to have some easy meals to be able to fix for us.  The GIANT batch of soup I made this weekend helped with warming me up throughout the week, and Mini Me loves eating soup, but sometimes you just want a little something different.  Different, yet easy.  Enter cobb salad.  To me, it feels a little more like summer when I eat salads.  Don’t ask me why, but cheers me up a bit.  I’m funny like that, I know.

Easy Cobb Salad for Two

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Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces romaine mix (one bag, I used Dole)
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, chopped (I cheated, bought precooked and peeled eggs from Eggland’s Best)
  • 1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ avocado, about three ounces
  • 4 ounces ham, chopped (cheated again, bought the pre chopped stuff)
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons ranch dressing (I like Walden Farms)

Feel free to add other ingredients for your tastes or macros!

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Directions:

Prepare all ingredients.

This took me about two minutes.  I split the bag of lettuce between two bowls.  I used a fancy egg masher (like the one in this little set – Multi Function Kitchen Tool) and easily mashed my eggs.  Measured and crumbled my block of blue cheese (less expensive than the already crumbled cheese).  Sliced my avocado and weighed it to be sure I was getting the right amounts.  I was a little over, so I let Mini snack on some pieces – she loves it and I really can’t blame her.  Weighed and split the ham between the two bowls (chicken would be a good addition for extra protein, too).  Used my kitchen sheers to cut my green onion directly into the salad bowls.   Measured and poured my dressing into the bowls.

Viola!  Yummy salad done and in a hurry.

Sure – I could have done something fancy or taken the time to prep all of the ingredients myself, but if it’s healthy, yummy, and makes us all happy and think of summer (ok maybe that is just me), why not?

Enjoy!

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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!