Bangers & Mash

So. I’ve been following a Paleo-ish diet the past four and a half weeks. I allow wine (duh) and I just can’t give up chocolate. I can’t. Don’t even try to convince me otherwise. I’ll fight you ’til the day I die. (And I just might die if you take my chocolate away). The Paleo aspect has been a really fun way to get my creative juices flowing (not that I eat a lot of bread and processed sugars anyway… other than pizza. But that doesn’t count? I tried a cauliflower pizza crust and I failed, but I won’t give up. I’ll make it work. So, in the meantime, I’ll have my pizza with an extra side of gluten).

Of course, my goal with eating Paleo has been to lose weight. What girl doesn’t want to lose weight? if you’re a girl that is reading and doesn’t want to lose weight, I want to talk to you. But, to get back on point, the further I get in, the more I’m really enjoying it. Not only am I feeling pretty great (despite the REFUSAL of the scale to budge), but as I mentioned, I’m forced (not really FORCED, per say… but for lack of a better word…) to be creative in the kitchen. Making something out of something else. Granted something I love to do anyway (see my seven ways with lentils…), but… it’s a challenge and I love it. And that makes me happy. Even tho the stupid scale isn’t moving in the direction I want it. Whatever.

The other day I made a Paleo version of “Bangers and Mash.” And I couldn’t have had a happier mouth and then a REALLY happy, STUFFED tummy.

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Forgive the phallic-ness of the sausage. Never mind. It was delish, so I will not apologize.

The mash is cauliflower. I’ve read recipes and known that there are recipes and peeps out there that have made mashed “potatoes” with cauliflower, but I have never attempted it. And, true fashion to me, I completely and totally wung it. (Wung is totally a word).

For the mash:
1 head of cauliflower, washed and supper roughly chopped
1/4 cup paleo friendly butter
1/4 cup coconut creamer
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt

Cook cauliflower in a large pan with 1/4 cup water and salt until tender. Drain most of the water, leave a little bit (maybe about a teaspoon). Add butter and cream. Use immersion blender to blend cauliflower until smooth and creamy.

For the bangers (teehee…)
I grilled my favorite, jalapeno beef sausage. What is your favorite sausage?

For the plate, scoop the mash onto the plate or bowl or whatever you’re eating off of and add the banger to the top. Devour.

Love until later,
Faith

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I’m back, bitches. OK, I might not be.

I’m back, bitches. OK, I might not be. But I like saying “I’m back.” Especially with the added emphasis employing the word “bitches.” But all that aside, I hope I’m back for the long haul. I’m not holding my breath. (I like to breathe). God, I’m a dork. 

This year has been an utter whirlwind of one-thing-after-another-non-stop-madness. The stresses were relentless and finally, instead of trying to beat them off as I had been doing, I started unleashing my pent up anxiety and weariness out with an “open” kitchen sign and delving into one culinary adventure after the next. The result has been a very happy husband, a happier me, a slightly messier kitchen and a much needed therapeutic outlet. 

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One of the latest and greatest and possibly my most favorite thing that has come out of my kitchen in a long while has been a curry sauce and cauliflower couscous (pictured above as left-overs).

The curry sauce was exceptional. Exceptionally tasty and exceptionally easy. 

In a medium sauce pan, combine half a can of coconut milk, a quarter cup of raw cashews, half of a medium sized shallot diced. Let simmer on low hear for about 20min. Add minced garlic (2 cloves), pinch of salt and 3-4 tbsp curry powder. Let heat thru (about 5-10min). Pour into blender and blend until smooth. The first night husband and I topped it with some grilled lamb. For lunch the next day, I put it on top of grilled salmon. Both ways- DE. F-ING. LISH.

For the cauliflower couscous, wash, dry and roughly chop a full head of cauliflower. Pulse in food processor until you get what looks like couscous. Heat large skillet with olive oil and diced shallot. When shallot is soft and brown, add cauliflower. Cook until tender. Add sun dried tomato, salt and pepper to taste. And then, EAT! Again, I will say DE. F-ING. LISH.

I can’t promise when I’ll post again, but I wanted to share a little bit of what has been happening in my kitchen. I have been taking pictures of the finished products in hopes that I will find time to sit down and write, so hopefully sooner than later I’ll have a new recipe to share. 

Love until later,
faith

 

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feta quesadilla and guacamole

this evening was the first time that husband and i actually sat down to a home cooked meal together in a long time. at the table, no less. between the two of us and work and everything else, it has been a challenge to cook, let alone have the same eating schedule. so this evening was a real treat. i felt almost human.

sticking to my eating skinny regime, my goal for dinner was to make something satisfying and tasty, but leaving out the side of guilt. so, on todays menu, was a feta quesadilla and fresh guacamole.

feta quesadilla
8 corn tortillas
1/2 large onion
1 large poblano
a couple of pinches of salt
spritz of cooking oil
2oz low fat feta
 
 
 guacamole
1 large avocado
1/2 tomato, seeded and diced
juice of 1/2 lime
handful fresh cilantro
pinch of salt
 
 
 
 
 
 
quesadilla – roast, skin, slice poblano pepper. while pepper is roasting, slice onion and begin to sautee in a large skillet. after skinning and slicing pepper, add to onion along with a pinch of salt. cook until onion is clear and begins to caramelize. remove onion pepper mix from skillet, set aside. in a separate large skillet on medium low heat, begin building quesadilla. center one tortilla in skillet and add a thin layer of crumbled feta to bottom, top the cheese with the onion and pepper with an additional thin layer of feta, top with second tortilla. cook each side for about 2 min (or until browned spots appear on tortilla and cheese is melted).
 
guacamole – cut and mash avocado, add a sprinkle of salt, lime juice, diced tomato and cilantro, stir to incorporate. ta. da.
 

the best part of the meal, other than the slight heat from the pepper, the sweet from the almost caramelized onions, the salty tang of the feta, the chewy, satisfying corn tortilla, or the freshness of the guacamole??

……..

only 270 calories per quesadilla….

you’re welcome.

 
 
 
 
guilt-free,
faith
 
 
 
 
 
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penne pasta; an “office picnic” meal

today i had the real pleasure of cooking an office picnic lunch for my bubba. bubba and i have known one another now for over fourteen years. she and i both played clarinet in the high school band, somehow always had the same classes, got drunk for the first time together and have shared many tear inducing laughing fits.

i had planned on taking “sack” lunches up to her, like i have done before, but then realized that i could make our lunch. it would be healthier and much cheaper than the $5 sandwiches. so, on today’s picnic menu was a penne pasta and a hearty spinach salad.

the recipe for the penne was adapted from my copy of Cook Yourself Thin:

ingredients: (serves 4)
2 tsp olive oil
3cloves of garlic, minced
1/2cup chopped red onion
couple of pinches of salt
1 14oz can whole tomatoes in juice, pureed in a food processor
pinch of red pepper flakes
8oz penne
1/4cup, plus a splash creamer
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
1/4 cup of fresh, chopped basil
 
in a large saucepan, heat 2 tsp of oil and cook the onion plus a pinch of salt until soft (about 3-4min). add the tomato puree, a pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes. bring to simmer, reduce heat and simmer gently 10min. stir in the minced garlic, add the creamer and let simmer an additional min. (if you don’t like a super strong garlic flavor, you can add the garlic when you add the tomato puree).
 
meanwhile, add the penne to boiling water and cook until just shy of al dente. drain pasta, reserving 1/2cup of pasta water. add the drained penne to the saucepan and simmer until the penne is al dente, adding the paster water if the mix is too dry. stir in 1/4 cup of the parmesan and the basil.
 
serve the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and a quick sprinkle of parmesan.
 

the penne was, like the burgers last night, extremely easy and very tasty. only costing bubba and i a total of about 350 calories. and with the exception of a couple of phone call interruptions, our picnic meal at her desk was really, quite romantic.

 
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southwestern turkey burgers

i have a confession. i didn’t go on a run today… i could not bring myself to get out of bed. so, no 4.5miles for me. there is always tomorrow, right? i was, however, able to cook and now blog, so yay me!

on the menu tonight was, as promised yesterday, southwestern turkey burgers (at least one promise was upheld!). i followed the recipe relatively closely and it was really very easy. something that was very much appreciated after a day like today.

for the burger (my version):

1 1/3lbs of lean ground turkey
1 fresh poblano pepper, roasted, skinned and diced
pinch of salt
drizzle of olive oil
whole wheat bun (i used mrs. baird’s 100% whole wheat gillin’ thins)
spinach
tomato, sliced
red onion, sliced
avocado, sliced
 
in a large bowl, combine ground turkey, diced pepper, salt, mix well. divide meat mixture (meat mixture doesn’t sound all that too appealing, does it? it was though. i promise) in 4, shape into patties. hear a large pan on medium heat and drizzle the olive oil into the pan. add the patties and cook until browned on one side, flip and reduce the heat to low. cook until the juices run clear. assemble burgers with handful of spinach, tomato slices, onion and avocado slices. enjoy!
 

the burgers were easy, quick and tasty and i will definitely be making them again. i think next time though, i will use a spicier pepper to pack in a little bit more punch.

and one last note… it felt so good cooking a meal. i can’t wait for tomorrow.

your turkey-dude-ette,
faith 
 
 
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a day late? right on time? or a bleak apology for my “sins?”

when i wrote last night’s post i had some how forgotten that husband and i had made dinner plans with my grandparents… tex-mex, no less. so no skinny meal there. but that is ok. tomorrow brings another day of skinny potential!

in the meantime, i will leave you with some facts about weight loss:

  • if you want to lose a pound a week (the amount most experts say is the healthiest way to approach weight loss), you need to cut your calorie intake by 500.
  • a quick and easy equation to use to find out how many calories you need in order to reach your goal weight is to multiply your goal weight by 10. this will give you the number of calories you need to consume each day.
  • a calorie is a unit that measures how much energy it takes your body to convert the “fuel” you give it into energy.
  • there are only 3 calories in a stalk of celery… and your body spends more calories breaking it down and converting it into energy.
  • there are only 52 calories in 1oz of whiskey. (yay!)
  • there is a difference of almost 300 calories in a piece of fried fish vs a grilled piece of fish.

so, to make up for my tex-mex sins of this evening, i will be waking up early to go on a 4.5 mile run, and on tomorrow’s dinner plate, a southwestern turkey burger… only 342 calories. so stay tuned!

adios,
faith 
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i’m baaack!

and finally… an update.the past three months have kept me busy, to say the least. i have taken on a new job and, unfortunately, cooking and then taking the time to write about the cooking had to take back burner. finally, things are begining to slow down and i am ready to be back and ready to challenge myself.

i have decided to attempt a new challange. i am going to eat to be thin. (i have a cook yourself thin cookbook that i am planning on employing to execute this project… at least to start off the challenge).

starting tomorrow (who starts a new project in the middle of the week??) i will begin to document my trials and tribulations of the extra weight that was the result of my hectic new job schedules. the gloves are off and the excuses kicked to the curb. so cheers to me and my new cooking/writing/weight loss regime!

ready, set, go!
faith 
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