Just in case you’ve wondered if “she” even makes things anymore, I do! I do!
Though since the beginning of this year I’ve mostly been working with (and working out at) Bodies by Burgoon. While I haven’t been able to post as much here, I’m still making and sharing, a lot. (Scroll to the bottom for the evidence!?)
Here’s an update on my almost daily breakfast hash, still going strong since 2014.
|Sweet Potato Hash with Brussels Sprouts and Kale|| |
- 1 sweet potato or yam peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 large handful of brussels sprouts, ends cut off and sprouts halved (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup of kale, stem removed and leaves chopped into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil, coconut oil, or clarified butter (or any combination of fat)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large skillet with a lid available, heat and melt 1 tablespoon of fat on medium-high heat for about a minute.
- Add diced potatoes and sprouts. Make sure sprouts are laying on their flat side, sprinkle with a little salt. Turn heat down to medium, cover with a lid and don't disturb for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, lift the lid and stir. If any pieces are getting too brown, turn your heat down a bit and if necessary add a bit more fat. Recover and don't disturb for 4-5 more minutes.
- Dump your kale and pumpkin seeds into the pan and stir around until combined. Recover your pan for 1-2 minutes more.
- Your potatoes should be tender and slightly brown, your kale will be soft, not crispy. If it needs more time, give it a minute or so more.
For those of you who know me personally, you know my cooking has been on a trip over the last years. Yes, it’s cliché, but every twist and turn has belonged. My cooking and overall life has changed but perhaps not in the way you would think.
Learning to cook with wine and butter and herbs as an adult was life-changing. While it was never something I did every day, it taught me what excellent food tasted like and taught me to play with quality ingredients. Every time I had something less quality, I was disappointed, and this was not me becoming a food snob but a learner of food and life. In short, cooking wasn’t just about eating amazing things; it was the love of creation, learning, and sharing that had me hooked early on.
As an adult, I did, however, struggle with what to feed my kids and how to afford the healthier stuff for a group, day to day. I would splurge on new recipes for the weekends, but during the week, I floundered and ended up with a strange mix of healthy one day and eating out the next, quick foods we didn’t want to eat but could afford, and a lot more grains and dairy than any of us needed.
Which led my family and me to begin connecting dots with our health overall. When my daughter ate sugar, she got really sick, every single time. When my son didn’t drink enough water or ate too many processed foods, he got headaches. When I ate gluten, my joints hurt and my injuries increased. When we ate good food and whole ingredients we felt good, when we didn’t, we felt icky and got sick in one way or another. It now seems so obvious, but it took more than a few hits to recognize the patterns.
In the last years I have been learning to cook everyday food (saving the weekend wine and butter for occasional still) with quality ingredients, and again it has been life-changing. AND it has taken resources. Eating good food costs money period. I don’t care what anyone says! It also takes cognitive space. If you are in any kind of survival mode or have too full a load or a financially stressed plate, changing the way you eat can feel impossible.
To know what delicious food is and how good food makes me feel has helped me stay determined not to settle with imitations and quick fixes on a daily basis and the weekends. The paths have started to converge and therefore what we are eating has evolved.
In case you’ve missed any of these recipes, I’ve been talking about @heatherbursch, here you go. They might be more simple than my weekend food, but the test crew at home has given them all thumbs up and continually asks for more, and that to me makes them worth sharing. It’s our weekday fare and feels good food of 2015 and 2016. While not every recipe below is my own, I’ve made every single one multiple times. Thank you #fitfam!
Broccoli, Grapes, and Chicken Salad with Yogurt Dressing:
|Broccoli, Grapes, and Chicken Salad with Yogurt Dressing|| |
- 1 head of broccoli chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 cup of red seedless grapes halved
- 2 cups of diced cooked chicken
- 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
- Optional Ingredients: (not included in nutritional information)
- ¼ cup red onion chopped or sliced
- 1-2 bacon slices cooked crisp and crumbled
- Spinach greens as an additional bottom layer topped with broccoli chicken mixture.
- Yogurt Dressing Below!
- Fill a metal strainer with the broccoli pieces and set in your sink.
- Bring a teapot or stovetop pot of water to boil. Pour boiling water over broccoli slowly, so all pieces get covered with boiling water.
- Rinse hot broccoli with cold water for about a minute to stop the cooking. The broccoli should turn a bright shade of green. Let broccoli cool and dry in a colander.
- Prep grapes, chicken, sunflower seeds, and dressing.
- When ready to make a salad, take a clean lint-free towel or paper towels and gently squeeze broccoli by the fist full. You don't want any water left sitting inside your broccoli. They hold water like a sponge and will water down your dressing.
- Once broccoli is dry and gently squeezed, put pieces in a large bowl with chicken, grapes, sunflower seeds, and onion or bacon if you are using.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of dressing at a time until perfectly coated, save the remainder. If you are prepping ahead, leave off the dressing until it's time to serve or eat.
- Salt and pepper your salad to taste if needed.
Chicken Salad Stuffed Tomatoes:
|Chicken Stuffed Tomatoes|| |
- 1 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons chopped herbs (I used basil, but tarragon or dill would be great too!)
- ¼ cup chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped scallions
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds
- 3 tomatoes
- To prepare the tomato cups, cut off the tops of tomato and gently cut out the core of the tomato, opening up the seed cavities.
- Using your fingers, pull out the seeds and insides of tomatoes until they are seedless and hollow.
- Set upside down on a paper towel to dry while you mix the salad.
- In a small bowl combine chicken, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, herbs, celery and scallions. Mix gently and add a bit of salt and pepper to taste as desired.
- Fill your hollowed tomatoes with chicken salad.
- Sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Our new favorite anytime meal and so easy to have prepped and ready to make would be Jen’s recipe for Family Breakfast:
|Grilled Turkey Burgers|| |
- 1 lb ground turkey or chicken (I like to use a mix of light and dark meat)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire
- ½ teaspoon of hot sauce (more or less as you like!)
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup chopped bell pepper
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- Drain any liquid off of meat and set in a bowl.
- Add all ingredients on top and using 2 forks gently combine being careful not to over mix as it will get mushy.
- Form meat mixture into 4 balls and gently flatten them into a burger shape on a cookie sheet.
- Put turkey burgers in the refrigerator uncovered until grill is ready.
- I like to grill them on direct heat for 3 minutes, then flip over for another 3 minutes. Move burgers to indirect heat to finish cooking them all the way through to 165° when checked with a meat thermometer.
|Sweet Potato Buns|| |
- 1 large yam or sweet potato
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, coconut oil, or clarified butter
- Using a very sharp knife cut sweet potato or yam into ¼ inch thick rounds.
- Heat oil or butter in a large pan with a lid on medium-high heat.
- Once melted and hot, add potato rounds and flip once right away to cover both sides with oil.
- Turn down heat to medium and cover for 4 minutes.
- Lift the lid and flip over.
- Return lid for another 3-4 minutes.
- Poke with a fork to see if the thickest piece is tender but not mushy.
- Remove to a plate and let cool slightly before building your sandwich.
- Makes 3-4 buns
Bowls with chicken sausage and Jen Eck’s Grilled Veggie Slaw:
Changing the way you eat (or changing anything!) is hard, and there will be resistance from the inside and outside. What do you want, what do you need, and who is on your team? How do you find some space so you can choose and not just wait to be chosen by circumstances that will eat you up? Do that, go towards finding some space, and whatever you do, don’t quit. XO