A lovely kale salad and I’m back!

So I just looked and realized I haven’t posted anything for a month! I knew it had been a little while, but not that long! Bad Sierra!!!

Anyway I’m back to posting regularly again. Long story real short, I started working again! I took a break from working for about 2 years (for an array of reasons). I’m working part time now, and it has taken up alot of my spare time haha!

I’ve made lots of things in the past month! Too many to even post! I will however post the salad I made today for lunch… It was beyond good and so good for you!! Here’s what I did:

Salad:
-1-2 cups of raw kale – chopped (ribs removed)
-1 cup raw shredded brussel sprouts (I used the already shredded ones from Trader Joes)
-1/8 cup sliced almonds
-1 tbsp. shaved Parmesan
-2 oz. shredded cooked chicken breast

Dressing:
-Juice from 1/2 lemon
-1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
-sea salt & pepper to taste

Put all of the salad ingredients in bowl. Put all dressing ingredients in separate bowl, whisk together and pour on top of salad. I find that with raw kale, the longer the dressing is on it the better it tastes!

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If you think raw kale and raw brussel sprouts don’t sound appealing … This salad will make you change your mind!

Onto other happenings … We celebrated my mom’s birthday this past weekend! We go to her favorite restaurant every year to celebrate! Luna Park is such a great place for birthday’s! The food is fantastic, service is good and atmosphere is the best! If you’re in LA and haven’t been, you must check it out!!

Anyway … I got a lovely strawberry mojito

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The place is really dark, so I had to use my flash to take pictures… I must have looked like a tourist but whatever!! I wanted decent photos for my blog!!

My appetizer …

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My dinner … The tastiest braised short ribs … Seriously like butter!!

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And the grand finale … Home made s’mores … Yes, I said s’mores

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How cute is my mom … And how cool is that fake cake with sparklers! Good thing she didn’t have too much hairspray in her hair haha!

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We had so much fun!!

Louie was upset that she didn’t get to go … Luckily she got over it and still loves her mama!!

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Xxoo

Clean oatmeal cookies & Life lessons

I experimented with a cookie recipe this week and to my surprise it turned out really good the first time! The cookies have no flour, no sugar, no egg and actually taste really good! I suggest that you try them asap!

A few tidbits about my week before the cookie recipe …

I went to “The Alley” in downtown LA last weekend with my mom to look for some fabric. In case you aren’t from Los Angeles, the alley is this long alley with vendors on either side of it. Like this …

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Hard to explain. It’s sort of a giant outdoor swap-meet. It’s kind of insane. You can buy everything there. From cell phone cases, to knock off purses and shoes, to underwear.

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I swear the mannequins there are built like Kim Kardashian. It’s hilarious!

Anyway … my mom found the fabric she wanted, and I found a few little things that I couldn’t live without (of course).

How could I pass up cat loafers?? I got all this for around $40 btw! Hell yes!!

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I got this lovely brass knuckles cell phone case for my husband. He says “you’ve got to fight for that money” In a hilarious way, it’s kind of true.

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I also bought this iphone case for my godson. He loves panda’s. I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up. His answer; a panda tamer. I like his thinking!

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I did my 2 mile walk and 2 sets of stairs at the beach this Sunday. I liked this drawing that someone did at the top of the stairs. Reminds me of my youth…

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In case you were interested …This has been my lunch lately. Egg whites and lean ham topped with sauteed spinach, avocado and sriracha! Love!

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I had to get cat litter this week. I printed out a coupon before I went. I wasn’t in the best of moods this particular day, and while I was driving to the store I started thinking about random things like when is life going to get to a point where I don’t have to print out coupons???? When will it feel like we’ve “made it” or does anyone ever feel that they’ve “made it”??? Is it a mindset or is it an external material thing? If you are financially well off, do you still have these days and feel this way???? Or does all of that type of thinking go away???? Anyway my mind was wandering, and It was making me upset. This same day I was talking with my landlord (who btw I would consider the picture of success) and I was telling her about all this stuff (what?? you don’t talk to your landlord about your innermost thoughts)??? Anyway. She said simply that things take time, that I need not be in such a rush to be “there” now. She is right, and it is something that I need to work on way more. I tend to think SO much about how the future should “be” and “look”. I need to stop that, because it gets me nowhere. I need to Be present. Be in the moment. Be grateful.

Again! This blog making me admit things that I don’t ever say out loud. I am sure that I am not the only one who will admit that they feel this way sometimes?

Anyway … enough about that!! Cookie recipe time! I have been wanting to experiment with an oatmeal cookie. I did it, and it was a success. Here’s what I did …

Pre-heat oven to 350.

In a large bowl mix together:

-2 cups of gluten free oats (I use the ones from Trader Joes)
-1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
-2 ripe bananas – mashed
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
-2 tbsp PB2
-3 tbsp semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)
-pinch of sea salt

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Mix well. Spoon onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and flatten in a cookie shape.

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Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Walah! Recipe makes 12 cookies. Cookie without chocolate chips = 89 calories per cookie. Cookie with chocolate chips = 92 calories per cookie.

Yesterday, I got to spend the day with my 11 year old godson … he is a little character. The two of us went bowling yesterday. We had so much fun!!!

He told me that the bowling alley has the best popcorn and hot dogs, and the popcorn gives him energy to bowl better …

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He is a really good bowler! He really is a natural athlete and super good at everything he does …

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See he beat my a$$!! I’m not kidding … I didn’t let him beat me either. We were both bowling for real and with NO bumpers per his request!

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I made him a dessert smoothie last night after dinner. I used strawberry greek yogurt, a few chocolate chips, cocoa powder and unsweetened almond milk. He loved it!

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I really enjoy spending time with him like this. He is so smart, talented, funny and independent, and at the same time so innocent. He is a true gem. Last night I was thinking that in just a few short years he will be a teenager. I really, really treasure this time with him. He is my perfect lesson of … Be present. Be in the moment. Be grateful.

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Until next time …

Btw, did I ever tell you that Louie also loves anything cardboard??? Well, she does.

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Xx

A recap of the week, obsessions & the best roast I’ve ever had

I can’t believe that it has been a week since my last post … oops!

I made the best roast last night! It is my favorite new meal, plus it’s a slow cooker recipe so that makes it even better!

I went to Target on Sunday and it seemed like everything went on sale! I got the necessities, plus I got a few things that I couldn’t live without.

These coffee Chobani bites are amazing!

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These clips were too cute to pass up … plus I love birdie things

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Best smelling febreze spray ever. I got two! It’s limited!

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On Sunday night I wanted a burger! So I made homemade burgers with some natural fries on the side (fries were from Trader Joes). The burger was realllly good, so were the fries!

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I bought this new pink salt from Trader Joes as well, I sprinkled it on the fries before baking … I highly recommend that you get this salt! I’ve been roasting vegetables with it, I also put it on the roast & cabbage that I made last night ….

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Speaking of seasoning and in case you cared … here is part of my spice collection. I have way more that don’t fit on this rack. I really believe the more spices you have, the more you will want to cook healthy meals at home

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Sometime during this week (can’t remember the day), I had another Stuft Mama grain free pizza! I have an obsession with these pizzas!! How could I not … the crust is only 166 calories. This one I topped with tomato sauce, heirloom tomatoes, rosemary ham, jalapenos, and some shaved parmesean. Stuft Mama comes up with some amazing recipes!

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I also for the first time ever this week had a skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks. I know it’s not the cleanest thing to have, however I had a major sweet tooth! Bottom line … it sucked, tasted fake, and I hated it. Will never be having that again

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On a side note … I get obsessed with things sometimes. It could be certain foods, meals, instagram, etc. It’s just my personality and I need to stop fighting it and just embrace it! Speaking of obsessions … This egg sandwich has been my breakfast or pre-workout or post workout meal pretty much everyday this week. It’s 3 egg whites, sriracha, and greens on a whole wheat bun. So simple and so good!

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Another thing I am obsessed with at the moment are mid afternoon quesadillas. It’s my new go to snack. I take a brown rice tortilla, toast it on the stove and then stuff it with 3 cups of raw spinach, and sprinkle with approx. 1/2 oz. of lite mozzarella. Put in the microwave for 45 seconds. Once it’s done I put lots of Tapatio hot sauce on the inside. Again … so simple, but so good!

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Finally to the best roast I have ever eaten. I found this Recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it last night. I also made some lemon roasted cabbage on the side. Here’s what I did …

Roast ingredients:

-3 lbs. of chuck roast
-1 cup of good balsamic vinegar
-1 cup of beef broth
-1 tbsp soy sauce
-1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
-1 tbsp honey
-1 tsp red pepper flakes
-4 garlic cloves minced

Directions:

Place chuck roast in slow cooker. Place all other ingredients in bowl and whisk together. Pour on top of roast, throw minced garlic on top. Turn slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours (I cooked mine for 8 hours and it was perfect)

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I shredded the finished roast right in crock pot with a fork and it came apart like butter!

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I am going to use the left overs tonight for “burrito bowls” (pretty much a burrito in a bowl without a tortilla)! Yum!

Anyhow … On the side I made this delicious lemon roasted cabbage … this is my new favorite invention! It takes less time than cabbage noodles and it tastes amazing!

Cabbage ingredients:

-1 large head of cabbage
-1 lemon
-olive oil spray
-pink salt or sea salt
-pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 450. Cut cabbage into 8 wedges and then cut the core off of each one. Carefully place the cabbage in a baking dish. Spray with olive oil spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper and squeeze one half of the lemon on top. Turn the cabbage wedges over and repeat the above steps. Place in oven for 15 minutes, turn cabbage and bake for another 15 minutes. Done! Amazing!

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Best meal ever! You must give this one a try!

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You know I can’t leave this post without a picture of you know who …

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Who doesn’t love Lululemon?!

Xx

A sweet post! Sweet & spicy sweet potatoes, lunch with a sweetie pie and a sweet casein mug cake!

Everything about this post is kind of sweet! I made my sweet & spicy sweet potatoes again the other night and realized I’ve never posted the recipe! They’re so easy and so good!

I took 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cleaned and cut them up (I cut them into half moons then cut them again if they’re really big. They cook faster when cut smaller)

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I then add 1 tbsp of coconut oil into a large non stick skillet. I use Trader Joes coconut oil. It’s good and not expensive! $5.99 for this jar

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Heat pan on low-medium heat and wait for the oil to melt into liquid. Then add diced potatoes, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (or if you don’t mind it too hot add 1 tsp like I do). Cook for approx. 40-45 min with lid on stirring / flipping occasionally. Potatoes should be soft and slightly browned when done

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The coconut oil brings out the sweetness of the potato and the red pepper flakes and garlic make it perfectly spicy. They are a really good side dish to pretty much anything! I like them with burgers, turkey burgers and chicken the best. I had mine with chicken and My roasted broccoli the other night

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As you can see … I really love that roasted broccoli.

Yesterday I had a lovely lunch with a couple of sweetie pies! My gorgeous friend Mel and her daughter.

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We went to one of my favorite places Open Sesame. I had this salad with grilled shrimp! It was amazingly good!

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I had it with a side of this garlic sauce …

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There are no words to describe this garlic sauce, so I won’t… You will just need to try it one day and then you’ll understand!
The best part of lunch was catching up with Mel! She makes me laugh and I could talk to her for hours! She’s one of those people that I feel like I’ve known forever! Im so lucky to have a friend like her!! She got me the sweetest Easter basket …

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And of course in classic Sierra style, I forgot her Valentine gift at home. Nice right?

The even better part of lunch was seeing this sweetie pie. Look at those eyelashes!

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I think she’s the sweetest part of this post …

One more sweet to go … I made this chocolate fudge casein mug cake last week and made it again last night. It is so good and really takes away the sweet tooth that you may have at night like I do!

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I got the recipe from someone I follow on Instagram. She posts lots of great recipes. This recipe can also be found on her feed (@tastyhealth). Speaking of Instagram … I post some of my food along with other nonsense. Feel free to follow me (@charmykittie). Now onto way more interesting things like that CAKE recipe!! Here it is:

In a mug, mix together 1 scoop of chocolate casein, 1 egg white, 2 tsp coconut flour, 2-3 tsp cocoa powder, 3-4 tbsp of water and sweetener of choice. Stir well. Put plastic wrap over top of mug and microwave for 1.5 minutes.

I didn’t have any sweetener so I didn’t add any, but I will add Stevia when I get some. It’s really good without the sweetener too though. I added the peanut butter pictured above to the top of the finished cake for my husband. Without the peanut butter, the cake is 195 calories!! I think is amazing for a really good clean dessert!

Speaking of sweet …

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Hope you have a sweet day in some way today!
Xx

Turkey sausage acorn squash and pow wow fun!

Yesterday I went to a pow wow at CSULB.
It’s an annual one that we go to every year. I am part Native American and we go to different pow wows throughout the year. It’s always fun to go watch the dancers and walk around, hang out with family and eat! Yes eating is part of going to these pow wow’s … If you’ve never heard of an Indian taco, this is what it looks like

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It’s fry bread topped with beans, lettuce, tomato, and hot sauce. The thing that makes these Indian tacos so good is the fry bread … I will admit fry bread tastes really good, unfortunately it is probably one of the most unhealthy foods on earth. This doesn’t mean that I don’t indulge in the occasional cheat/treat meal. I just haven’t had one of these tacos in a long time, and knew if I ate one it would make me feel terrible, plus I thought about how my personal fitness goals have to come first right now! So I passed on the taco and had this plum instead … Exciting, I know.

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Yesterday made me realize more than ever that are much better things to do at the pow wow that are zero calories!

Spending time with my niece / goddaughter … I think she the cutest little girl on earth! Her little boots are so darn cute too …

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There were lots of booths selling really cool stuff. I bought one of these heart shaped dream catchers … They were too cute!

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I also bought one of these …

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And one of these …

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See how lovely the look on me???

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I took a break from shopping, kicked off my boots and had a few handfuls of this delicious kettle corn

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See I really kicked my boots off! Aren’t my socks cute??!! Who doesn’t like a cat with glasses??

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We walked around a little more, and I snapped a few pictures of these beautiful dancers

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I was pooped when I got back home and to be honest, I really didn’t feel like making dinner … But I did, and I’m glad I did because I made an amazing turkey sausage stuffed acorn squash!! It was seriously amazing!!! Here’s what I did

I took two small acorn squash

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Cut them in half and took the seeds out

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Then I put them in a large baking dish, cut side up and sprayed them with olive oil spray and sprinkled some pumpkin pie spice on top. I then added 1-1/2 cups of water to the dish, covered tightly with foil and baked them for 45 minutes at 350 degrees

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While those were baking, I took the lean turkey sausage out of its casing, broke it up and browned it in a pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes. I then added 1 diced up Granny Smith apple and continued to cook for about 20 more minutes. I seasoned this mixture with sea salt & pepper to taste, 1 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. oregano, and 1 tsp. garlic powder.

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The finished meat & apple mixture looks like this once its done

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The acorn squash should be done at this point. Take the acorn squash out of the oven and stuff each one with the sausage & apple mixture, and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes uncovered. The finished product will look like this.

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I added a few crumbles of Gorgonzola on top (optional)

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It was the best acorn squash I’ve had yet!

All in all yesterday was a great day! I took this really cute picture of my mom and niece yesterday too … Look how cute they are together. This picture is proof that there are definitely better things at the pow wow than an Indian taco!!

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Ohhhh and last but not least! Louie loved the dream catcher I bought. I think she was Native American in another life …

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Xoxo

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Mustard roasted potatoes … the perfect ending to one of those days.

I have to admit something that I don’t admit often … I tend to be on the bratty side of personalities. I can be moody at times, and get irritated when things don’t go my way. It is something that I work on daily. I try to rein in the brat in me and try to be the kind person that I know that I can be. This blogging thing makes you say the craziest stuff! Anyhow … yesterday was one of those days where I was in a mood. From the moment I woke up, I was running late. I went to make my protein shake and realized that we had no spinach (I normally always blend spinach in my shake)! I had to make the shake with only almond milk and protein powder (poor me, right)?!! Anyhow, while I was shaking the protein and milk together, it shot out of part of the lid and got everywhere…

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I then almost tripped over my untied shoes while running like a fool to my car …

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I drove my annoyed self to my training session and didn’t know what kind of monsterous workout I was in for. Wholly crap … I thought I was going to die! Just in case you wanted to know, this is what I look like when I’m tired, hot, cranky, hungry and have a raging headache …

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Cute right????

Anyhow I went home after getting some spinach at the store, ate this lovely scramble with a slice of Ezekiel toast topped with strawberry jam. 

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I was so blasted that I went to sit down on my bed for a few minutes before running all the errands that I needed to run. I ended up waking up 2 hours after I “sat down” whoops!!!! I woke up in a better mood, ran a few errands, and came home with inspiration to make some mustard roasted potatoes! I saw a cooking show awhile back and they were making potatoes with mustard, mayo, sour cream, butter and all kinds of other not so great for you ingredients. I remember thinking to myself that I’d like to change up the recipe one day. Yesterday I did just that! Here is what I did …

I cut up about 6 small to medium red potatoes in large chunks. 

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I cut up a few sprigs of fresh thyme and 4 garlic cloves.

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I mixed together approx. 2-3 tbsp. of deli mustard and 2-3 tbsp. of dijon mustard (Grey Poupon is my favorite), the minced garlic, and 2 tbsp. of olive oil. 

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I put this mixture on the potatoes, with the thyme and tossed together in a baking dish. At first I tried tossing together with a spoon, but it wasn’t coating the potatoes like I wanted, so I threw the spoon to the side and tossed the potatoes with my hands! Much better idea!! 

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I baked them in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 45-60 min. They turned out soooo good. They are seriously my new favorite side dish. You must try them!!!

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Yesterday taught me that even though the day started bad, It is within my power to turn it around. I took a moment, thought about everything in my life that I am grateful for and because of that, the day ended on a good note and I made a super tasty new recipe to share with everyone! 

On a totally random note … Today I am wearing my Bambi scarf. See how cute it is??!! 

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Remember … It’s never too late to turn the day around!!! 

xoxo 

The never ending day, paleo meatloaf and a mustard roasted potatoes experiment

Today was one of those days where I wanted to hide from the world! I had a workout from hell, a weird headache and was just in an all around pretty bad mood and it seemed like the longest day in history! I won’t bore you with the details of that right now! I’ll wait until tomorrow to do that 😬

Anyhow I made Everyday Paleo Meatloaf & cabbage “noodles” last week and didn’t post it so here it is. *Note: I’ve made this several times. I leave out the onion, and only use 1/2 cup of almond meal. I’ve made it with 1 cup before and I think it’s too much.

Everyday Paleo Meatloaf

For the cabbage noodles, I take one head of cabbage, take the core out, the slice it in thin strips, put in a pan sprayed with olive oil spray, add a few shakes of paprika, sea salt and pepper. Cook with lid on for about 20 min on med-high heat, stirring occasionally. Noodles are done once they are tender!

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I made some mustard roasted potatoes tonight and they turned out ahhhmazing!!!! I will post the recipe tomorrow!!

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I’m ending my night with Southland and this!

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Sweet dreams!!

Jalapeno, spinach turkey burgers, The Bachelor, and Louie …

Monday nights have become my favorite night of the week …. why? The Bachelor! OMG I am obsessed with this freaking show! I can’t get enough of that hunk Sean! He is so fine!!

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I should mention that I have never really watched The Bachelor prior to this season, but I am now officially obsessed and I will be very sad after it’s over, as I have become actually excited for Monday’s (in the history of my life, I have never been excited for Monday’s). Anyhow … on Monday’s I try to make something special to eat while I watch The Bachelor. Last night, I came up with these turkey jalapeno spinach burgers. It is no secret that I do not like the taste of ground turkey on it’s own. I need to jazz it up if I eat it. Spinach and jalapenos were the perfect thing for this turkey!

Here’s the stuff I used … I put about 2 tsp of chili powder, 1 tbsp of garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste …

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I chopped up about 2 cups of spinach and diced the whole jalapeno. Don’t rub your eyes at this point! I forever am rubbing my eyes after dicing jalapenos. I know … duh!

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I put the spinach, jalapenos and spices in the bowl with the turkey and mixed it up with my hands! I then quarter them (making a cross pattern with my hands) so that you have 4 equally sized burgers. Genius right??!!

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Form into patties and place on a hot grill pan for approx. 15 min. per side. I ALWAYS check with a meat thermometer though. 160 is perf!

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You will have 4 really tasty turkey burgers. I was proud of my grill marks!!

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I made my sweet & spicy sweet potatoes on the side!

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Sorry this post is sooooo long, but when I woke up this morning, I had this idea. I would post my jalapeno spinach turkey burgers with an explanation of who Louie is … not that you care, or even will notice … but it’s been on my mind. So here it goes …

This is Louie …

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This is me and Louie (she looks so happy that I’m smothering her with kisses right!??)

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Louie loves lettuce … like seriously will bite your finger off to get to it. Do you see the ferocious look in her eyes?????

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She loves to eat it, but loves to rub her face all over it. I like to think that she is pretending to be a big cat in the jungle …

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Louie just really loves lettuce …

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The Infamous Kabocha Squash …

So I have kind of been haunted by something lately … it’s a little thing called kabocha squash. Everywhere I turn I am hearing about this squash … I’ve seen pictures, read about it and have also heard that people are totally obsessed with it. They seriously can’t eat enough of this squash! I was at Sprouts last week and guess what? I turn the corner and BAM! there is a humungous display of KABOCHA SQUASH! It was $0.99 per lb. on sale. I said to myself “This freaking squash is following me … it must be a sign … I better buy one” So I put it in my cart and took it home. It’s been sitting in my kitchen for a week now. I looked at today and decided to roast it up! I washed it, then with the sharpest knife in my block I tried to cut it. Lets just say that cutting this squash was like cutting into concrete. After about 30 minutes of really going at this squash with my knife, I finally had it all cut up. I spread it out on my baking sheet and the rest is history! This squash is super tasty, roasts beautifully, and is really good for you! Here is what I did to make it ..

Ingredients:

-1 Kabocha squash
-Olive oil spray
-Sea Salt
-Pepper
-Cayanne pepper

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This is the knife I used … It is so sharp and could seriously cut a finger off … but even with this knife it was HARD to cut this squash!!

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Here’s what the inside looks like

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The seeds need to be taken out so it will look like this

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I sliced it up, sprayed olive oil and sprinkled the sea salt, pepper and cayanne on it … It was quite the workout! If you attempt this be super careful! I had a few close calls!

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I had the oven pre-heated at 350 while I was cutting this up. I put it in the oven for 35-40 min at 350. This is what came out of the oven … toasty, golden goodness! Low in calories too!

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Now I’m off to find some other things to roast!!! xoxo

Cilantro lime jasmine rice

I wanted something different last night. I’ve been obsessed with sweet potatoes lately, and think I need a little break from them. SO … Instead of my usual side dish of sweet potatoes, I thought I’d make some white rice as a little “treat” for us. I’ve seen Bobby Flay use lime & cilantro in rice or something like that before so I decided to give it a go and throw some cilantro and lime juice in this rice. That is what I did and OMG!! It was seriously the best rice I’ve ever had! It was so easy that it’s kind of ridiculous!!

Ingredients:
-1 cup dry organic jasmine rice
-2 cups water
-dash of sea salt
-1 tsp butter
-1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
-1 lime
-dash of cayenne pepper

Directions:
Place water, rice, butter, and salt in sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer for 20 min. Remove from heat, add chopped cilantro and juice from the lime and dash of cayenne pepper. Fluff and serve!

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