Getting ready for Thanksgiving…

My first day back at work today – it was simply exhausting.  The last thing I wanted to do today was to cook.  But, I have a very crowded refrigerator right now with lots of veggies that need to be cooked and some left over rotisserie chicken. I decided to make Brussels sprouts with dried bing cherries and just heat up the rotisserie chicken.  It was simple, quick and delicious.

chicken with shredded sproutsThe meal ended up reminding me of Thanksgiving and made me look forward to my favorite holiday.  The sprouts were ridiculously good – sweet & salty.  I am calling it Brussels sprout stuffing – paleo style. The texture and flavors reminded me of the stuffing my mom makes at Thanksgiving that I can no longer enjoy because of my celiac diagnosis.

So here is the short list of ingredients:

Brussels sprouts (buy shredded or shred them in a food processor or use mandolin – just be very careful!)
olive oil
salt & pepper
dried cherries (I bought them at Trader Joe’s)

Just sautee the sprouts with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper, I also use Crazy Jane’s Mix Up Salt.  Once sprouts start to become tender and brighten, add the dried cherries (or cranberries could be used).  That is it!

I know I am not the first person to make this dish, but as someone who never cooked until about two months ago, I was really proud of being able to look at the fridge and throw something together that tasted good and was paleo friendly.

Oh yeah – I have transitioned from the Whole 30 to a paleo diet.  So far, so good.

Going Greek and other things…

So this weekend was beautiful in New York.  We had 80+ degree weather, warm sun shining all day.  So, I did something I haven’t done in 3 years.  I got my ass up early, cooked an amazing breakfast – scrambled eggs with rosemary and egg kaleprosciutto and wilted kale and then – wait for it – took my dog for a RUN! To be honest – I probably only ran for about a total of a 1/2 mile, but we went along for about 2 1/2 miles- hills and all.

Why is this a big deal?  Because 1) I haven’t really exercised with intent to push myself and definitely have not tried to run in 3 years (not even for a bus) 2) I have probably gained 75+ lbs in that time and was at the peak of being unhealthy when I started the Whole30 and 3) it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be – don’t get me wrong I was sweating like it was my job, but my body told me when to run and when to walk. Oh, and what’s also impressive is that my 12 year old dog survived too – a little limping toward the end but he refused to let me pick him up and carry him home.

What does all this physical activity have to do with “going Greek”? Well, after a long shower and a quick nap, I headed out for authentic Greek food, in Astoria, Queens. The neighborhood is known for its Greek population and delicious food, and it didn’t disappoint. I stepped out of my box a little bit, we ordered grilled octopus and grilled sea grilled octopusbass – with the head still on. While visually I could have done without seeing the head of a dead fish on my plate, the food was unbelievably, incredibly delicious. Everything is cooked clean – olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. The flavors were insane – it almost made me want to cry a little.

What I also noted in between savoring each bite, was that I really didn’t need to eat a lot. While my friends were chowing down on pita bread, hummus dip I was enjoying my greek salad full of tomatoes, cucumber and meaty olives.

Life is good.

Down, but not out…

I have been M.I.A. for a while.  First, I got sick with a nasty cold and had to save my energy for co-hosting a baby shower, and attending a very special wedding – the combination knocked me out, leaving me with little desire to do anything but sleep in my downtime.

I feel like being sick was my first real test, and I think I passed with flying colors. Though my job is to help kids cope with being hospitalized and/or being ill, I myself am terrible when I am sick. I whine, feel sorry for myself and want to crawl in a hole.  Oh – and all I want is to eat comfort foods. But I survived my first test with my Whole30 intact. This is a huge win for me!  Not only did I eat according to the plan, I prepared and cooked my food for the week and made my favorite new dish. It’s a variation of something I saw online, it is super easy, I am calling it Sweet Potato Super Bowl. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients: sweet pot kale dish

3 – 4 Sweet Potatoes
Grass fed Ground Beef (I use Trader Joe’s frozen)
White Onion
Kale
Coconut Oil
Cumin
Garlic Salt
Sea Salt
Pepper

Recipe:

Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Preheat oven to 400F.  Cut sweet potatoes into small cubes.  Spread them on baking sheet.  Melt about a tbsp of coconut oil and pour over sweet potatoes. Salt and pepper to your liking.  While roasting sweet potatoes, brown the ground beef in a pan with coconut oil and chopped onion.  Sprinkle cumin, garlic salt and pepper on beef to taste (I don’t measure). When beef is brown, drain excess fat and add kale to the beef.  Let kale wilt with ground beef or if your pan isn’t big enough set beef aside and saute the kale.  When sweet potatoes are soft, remove from oven (about 20ish minutes).  Combine sweet potatoes, kale and beef in a bowl and mix it up so ingredients are mixed evenly.

Hope you like it!