To-Go Breakfast and lunch ideas (Paleo and Whole 30 Approved!)

Prepping on a Sunday is key to having meals ready for the week to grab and go. This week I made a few new delicious recipes and even learned a new trick too!!

 

The most exciting new item I made came from my new cookbook! I recently purchased this cook book from Amazon! It’s a great book, with lots of recipes, ideas, and even a little section about Paleo! I like that it’s an “on the go” recipe book as well since I’m usually “on the go”! IMG_0001

Here’s the recipe: Bacon and Egg Salad with fresh herbs!

Ingredients: (makes 4 servings. I cut mine in half so it was just for me!)

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced basil
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion
  • 1/3 cup of mayo (they had a recipe, I used my Tessemae’s instead!
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 strips bacon, crumbled
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions: (The first part is my new trick!! So excited!)

  1. To hard boil the eggs, fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce and summer. Add baking soda and salt. Gently add eggs with a slotted spoon* and simmer lightly for 14 minutes.
  2. When done, drain the pot of water and crack the eggs by shaking the pot and allowing them to hit the side of it. Add cold water and allow to sit while you chop the herb and onion.
  3. Peel the eggs and place in a bowl. Break the eggs up with your warns into small chunks
  4. Add the herbs, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, onion, and bacon. Season with Salt and Pepper

Yum Yum. I put mine over a small side salad with balsamic dressing…Also Tessemae’s. Plus an apple for dessert!

I also found in the recipe book Sweet potato apple-cinnamon pancakes!! Wowza’s! Super east and delicious. I put that together with 3 sausages for my protein and a side of grapes! Yum!

Another breakfast I made was 2 eggs over medium. (People always look at me funny when I say that. They look at me funny too when I tell them I like my coffee black.) Over Medium….that just means I like the yolk cooked through a little more. No runny yolk here.

So I cooked 2 eggs OVER MEDIUM with 2 slices of bacon, a side of sautéed veggies, and a banana.

I recently purchased this small egg frying pan. It’s the perfect size to fry eggs and not waste a whole big pan. Plus I make the hubby Egg McMuffin’s, so I whip 2 eggs with a little milk and put it in here. It fits perfectly on his english muffin with bacon and cheese! Yum for him too!

Plus I used to make the Sweet potato apple cinnamon pancakes so that would be a nice perfect size! It’s a multipurpose pan now!

Small Egg Frying Pan

Small Egg Frying Pan

*Slotted spoon just means that it has holes in, so when you put the egg in the water, it goes in a little more gently than one without.

Check back soon to see if I make any more delicious recipes from my new book! Plus I’ll have some budgeting posts coming up and more menu’s for next month!

Whole 30 Menu Prep and how to do it

We all know from previous posts how much I love making menu’s. I almost wish sometimes I owned a restaurant so I could make up amazing menu’s for everyone!! Here are some tips for making your menu’s and especially if you are doing a Whole 30. This is a good way to budget your spending and getting the most out of you groceries!

What should each meal have?

Each meal should contain certain credential. These are important so that you have a well-rounded meal and more importantly stay full in-between meals. The importance is in this order!

  1. Protein Source
  2. Veggies
  3. Fat
  4. Fruit

Drafting your menu Start with breakfast

When I draft my menu, I start with breakfast. I go through the whole month and fill in every breakfast. Breakfast is a meal that I love, but if I eat the same thing over and over, I get sick of it pretty quick. I make sure to rotate all of my options and sometimes add in new ones. Any time you add a new recipe into your menu, it gives you something to get excited about! I keep my breakfasts well-rounded with the above credentials. Here are some different breakfast options:

  • Zucchini and Sweet Potato Latkes with Grapefruit (mixes with Egg for protein and cooked in oil for fat)
  • Soft Boiled Eggs, Tomatoes, and Avocado with salt and pepper
  • Butternut Squash Porridge (I know how it sounds, but don’t believe it)
  • Egg and Prosciutto Roll-up with asparagus
  • Scotch Eggs with tomato and cucumber salad
  • Egg and veggie scramble with homemade sausage patties

Lunch and Dinner

The most important strategy I use for lunches and dinners is to share veggies in each meal. Produce tends to go bad quickly or not get used at all. When I make my menu, I make sure to choose 2-3 veggies for that week and split it up between all the meals. I may make the butternut squash porridge and have roasted squash with dinner a different night. Or I may make roasted beets with dinner and used the leftovers to toss with a salad.

If I make something that I know will have leftovers or I can make more of, I make sure to note that I will take that for lunch the next day.

I’ll share some of these recipes on my January Journey and let you know how I like everything and any tips or tricks I can share.

So here’s my January 5-11th menu: January 5th-11th Menu (downloadable menu for you!)

 

jan 5th-11th menu

2015 is going to be MY year

Back in June I did a little thing called Whole 30 (Whole 30 Program Rules). Since then I have gone back to eating….crap…which in turn, has made me feel like crap. This year was a little crazy, I think I’m still recovering mentally, emotionally, and organizationally. The holidays are coming up and I want to enjoy them. But I want to get my life back on the right path too. So I’m preparing a few things to get myself back in order come the new year!

Whole 30 Good Food Word!

First, I’m going back to Whole 30…except instead of 30 days, I’m doing 90! A few co-workers are joining in and we decide January will be our start date. So to prepare, I started making my menu’s and planning out some new recipes to try. This round I decided to nix fruit for the first 30 days. I have a wicked sweet tooth and my last round I relied on fruit to get through the cravings. So I snacked on lots of pineapple, oranges, and bananas. I want to cut out that habit! Let’s see how that works.

Second, I created a budget planner. This way I can track my money for a whole year. I can see where I’m spending the most, hopefully save some money, and learn to budget myself. I created some templates and put together a binder. I made a monthly planner of what bills I am paying and when. I checked my income and made sure I had a sufficient amount of left over money to save and give myself a cash allowance. When I use my debit card I tend to spend it a little easier. With cash, I give it a little bit of second thought depending on what I have in my pocket.

I’m also going to take some classes! I want to educate myself a little more. I’ve been taking Spanish classes and in addition to that, I signed up for an Effective Business Writing class online. I’m also looking into the possibility of a Human Services Management certificate program. I think by being proactive and showing initiative will help me in receiving a promotion within my office this upcoming year.

This is a decent amount of weekly work. Between tracking my spending and income, cooking and food shopping, and taking classes, I need a weekly schedule to keep me on track. So I’m creating a plan to stay organized. I don’t know what that is yet, but I’ll be updating!

I have a feeling if I plan right 2015 could be MY year!!!! But only I can do it, so I’m making sure to be prepared and ready to go.

Upcoming: Whole 90 Journey, Menu prep and How to do it, Budget Binder Templates, maybe some effective business writing tips while I’m learning, and How I’m keeping it all together.

Thanks for sticking with me through my blogging journey. It’s been a kind of all over the place, but I’m going to be ready in the New Year to keep myself together and keep my blog going.

Getting ready for the holidays

The holiday’s are here!! I haven’t been around much, but I’m hoping to get back on track with you, my food and exercise plan, and my holiday planning! Here’s the first few things I started working on for the holidays.


 Number 1: My holiday budget

Holiday Budget PDF: This is a PDF for a holiday budget. I make sure to write my “guesstimate” budget on top. What I did was write down each person I buy for, including Yankee swaps and co-workers, and then on the back I added a space that I use for my husband. You could use this space for anyone special though. I write down each gift idea and the estimated cost. On the bottom, I write the estimated total. Then, as I purchase gifts, I write down the gift and actual cost. At the end I see how I did budgeting my holiday spending.

I’m part of a Christmas club with my bank. Many banks offer a Christmas club membership. They took $10 a week out of my savings account and placed it into the Christmas club. Even though it was only $10 a week, I managed to save $600 by the first week in November. (Sometimes when I had left over funds I hadn’t expected too, I would add them to this account.) I made sure to write out my gift ideas early and when the money came in I purchased almost all of my presents! So it’s before Thanksgiving and I’m proud to say, I only have a few things left to buy!


 Number 2: Holiday Party

My husband and I throw our annual Holiday party the Saturday in between Christmas and New Years. This way we know we have a big crowd and we are not stressed for time. I started making my menu already:

Appetizers:
Veggie Tray & Antipasto Skewers
Cheese & Crackers & Chips & Dips
Buffalo Chicken dip, Queso Dip, Loaded Baked potato dip

Food:
Chicken Wings & Cheeseburger Sliders
Pizza & Spinach and Ricotta Rolls
Desserts: Cookies & Brownies 😉

Drinks: BYOBeer!!
Drunken Gummy Bears & Holiday Punch
Soda, Water, Mixers:
We have lots of leftover liquor from previous parties please feel free to enjoy!

I made an event on Facebook and sent out my invitations. I even already started making my to-do list on what to prep and when! This makes my life a little easier, especially before all the hectic Holiday stuff starts up. Plus I can make sure to have my Peapod delivery ready for food. I started doing Peapod, so when I’m busy I don’t have to worry about food shopping and I’m sure that I will need it right before this event!I already put the things in my cart that I want to have delivered for that day! I’m a prepper, so this may sound crazy to some. But it makes me feel like I’m ready to go.

The To Do list is also super important for making me feel a little at ease. I list out the week prior to my party and write down each day the things I think I can do. Lets peek at the list: Party to do list

You’ll notice I write “cookies and brownies”- It’s in quotations because I’ll probably just buy cookie dough and throw it on a pan and call it a day. I’ll also probably hear from one of friends who wants to bring something and I always tell them to bring delicious desserts! Less work for me!!


 Number 3: Holiday Decorations

I took my wireless lights from the Halloween decorations and put my lanterns together. This is how I usually start to prep my house for the holidays. I like to use the red bulbs because they are more reflective. I put a few bulbs in, wrap some lights, a few more bulbs, a few more lights and so on.

lantern christmas

Our Christmas Tree is VERY nontraditional. We usually do, black, purple, and silver ornaments and a silver star on top. It looks more…us!! We are nontraditional people. My mom always had this tradition of putting our tree up Thanksgiving day, after we finished our meals. I like to keep that tradition going, except we do it the night after. So we spend Black Friday the way people should spend black Friday….not out running around shopping for the best deal, but with each other. We decorate the house, lounge in our jammies, and eat leftovers. So that ha not been put up yet, But I’ll make sure to post pictures when it’s done.

I also…for whatever reason…had pine cones in my Christmas storage bin. I couldn’t figure out what to do with them. As I was cleaning I found this really unique vase my hubby bought me when he had anniversary flowers delivered to my work. So I put a candle in the middle, and placed the pine cones around it. Voilá!

christmas pine cones

 And that’s it for this post! Within the next week I’ll be posting my Christmas tree, some gift ideas for grabs, and party prepping when it’s time!! See you soon…

Fall Decorations

I love Fall!! I love the clothes, the holidays, the weather, and decorating my house!! Here are some of my fall decorations this year:

I bought the Wreath from Target for $20. I like this because it was a smaller size, so its easier to store and doesn’t take up much room on the front door. It’s not necessarily a Halloween wreath and it could be used all season long! I also bought the wreath hanger from target around Christmas, so it was easy to take this wreaths ribbon and just hang it up on the door.   Target Wreath

The flowers I bought from my local supermarket. They were pretty inexpensive, about $9.99. I liked the fall colors and that they were a double color as well with the burnt orange and yellow. I have so many vases at home so I cut them down really low and filled up a square vase. I can usually get my flowers to last a decent amount of time by changing the water every few days!

At the same supermarket I purchased the little pumpkins. My dad and his fiance gave me the day of the dead Bride and Groom for my birthday! What a cute add-on to my fall decor collection!! I love that they independently stand up and looked so cute in the round vase with the pumpkins.

The sparkly bulbs with lights is my go-to decoration for any holiday!!! It super easy to make and pretty inexpensive. I bought the large hurricane vase at Michael’s. I found the black, purple, and silver bulbs there as well and then found little skulls that could go along with it! I purchased the battery operated lights at target. They do all kinds of different things like blink, go on at a specific time, and they are great because I don’t have to plug them in!. So what I do is wrap some lights at the base of the vase (haha that rhymed!), then I put a few bulbs on top. Wrap some more lights around, bulbs on top. And go all the way up until there are not any left! So easy!!!

I also made some delicious Halloween cupcakes, which I normally wouldn’t eat, but I they were on sale at the supermarket, along with the orange frosting and sprinkles that looked like little skulls and I thought “why not indulge a little”! I had one, Anthony had one, and I brought the rest to work for my co-workers to enjoy!

Happy Fall Everyone!!! Next post will be about some fall fashion statements…If there are ever any questions on something I have purchased or you want to know about something I made please feel free to email me or contact me another way!! I would love to be more interactive with my blogging fan base! 🙂

Sunday Food Day

Breakfast: Quick Frittata

I love making Frittata. It’s super easy and it stays good in the fridge for a pretty good amount of time. Up to 6 days if you store it in a nice airtight container! This was a bacon, potato, & pepper frittata.

I make bacon in the oven. Yes, in the oven. It’s so quick, it doesn’t make a big mess, and your house doesn’t smell of bacon for a whole week. I lay the strips of bacon on a tin foil covered cookie sheet, I put it in a COLD  oven and pre-heat to 400°. Once the oven is pre-heated, I set the timer for 10 minutes and then Voilà! Yummy bacon.

Meanwhile, I’ll sauté the chopped up peppers and canned diced potatoes in a little olive oil. I place those in the bottom of a pie dish. Then I whip up the eggs with a little S&P and a little full-fat coconut milk.

Once the bacon is done, I crumble it up and add it to the pie dish. Then, I pour the eggs over everything and shimmy the dish around until it settles. Again 400° for 20 minutes. That’s why I like using bacon in frittata too, the ovens already preheated and ready to go!

 

Lunch: Italian Chop Salad (Idea from: Italian Chopped Salad)

Since the recipe had pasta, a home-made dressing, and several different cheeses in it, I had to tweak the salad to fit me. I like to look at recipes more for ideas than to actually follow it. Remember that most recipes can be modified to suit your needs and if your unsure as to how to change it, use google! Look at a few websites to see if they all recommend something similar. Usually, they do. Be careful, however, as this does NOT apply to baking, which is why I do not bake! Baking requires you to follow each and every step to the T!

I like to keep my food separate until I’m ready to eat it, so I placed in one container with two separate compartments: chopped artichokes, marinated mushrooms, black olives, chickpeas, and on the other side, I place the chopped pepperoni and salami.  Once I’m ready to eat, I put everything together and use a little balsamic and olive oil as dressing.

Lunch: Lox over Salad

I also made four salads for the week. I can grab them in a pinch for lunch or dinner. I can always find a protein source to buy and add, like hard-boiled eggs or Lox. Lox is super yummy and goes great over a salad. Most people think: Bagel, Lox, and cream cheese. I like to slice mine and throw it over a salad with a little balsamic and olive oil. It’s nice to have something already prepared to grab, so I cut up the left over Lox and leave it in the fridge just incase! It is a little pricey, but sometimes Whole Foods will have it on sale, so I usually buy it then as a little indulgence.

Dinner: Recipe: Pan Roasted Lemon Chicken

This was a pretty easy dish to make and it was absolutely DELICIOUS! I’ve never really made chicken thighs before because for some reason I had it in my head that I wasn’t a dark meat fan…but boy was I wrong. They were so juicy, tender, and flavorful. I don’t add that much lemon juice because the hubby isn’t a big fan. So I used a fresh lemon and just squeezed as much out of it as I could. I used a little lemon zest (Lemon Zest is a taking a cheese grater and grating some of the rind of the lemon! They make it sound so much more complicated), and a little lemon pepper spice that I had from a gourmet spice company. I used my dutch oven too! A dutch oven is a pan or pot that can be cooked stove top and in the oven. You usually want to use it when you first need to sauté and then place in the oven or if you are slow cooking meats. They are usually pretty heavy as they are made of cast iron or enamel.

The hubby and I like different sides so I had mashed cinnamon sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus and he had stuffing and carrots. Our plates were clean when we were done eating!!

 

Keep an eye out this week for: Some Fall Decorations and Fall fashion posts!!!

Next weeks Sunday Prep Day, I’ll post: Tuna Cakes, Skillet Steak, Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches with fresh basil, and Some Yummy Chicken Wings!!!