Wellness Wednesday: Easy Sheet Pan BLT

I have been trying out some new recipes and thought I’d share one that literally just made last night!  My good friend Ann has been doing rounds of Whole30 for over a year now and has nothing but amazing things to say.  I have yet to bite that bullet, but I am playing around with the meals and food concepts a bit, especially since I have given up Gluten and am really trying to just eat real foods.  I also like to keep things simple around here as well as versatile.

This meal was SUPER easy delicious; I only wish that I made more!  Depending how you eat/serve, it can be Paleo or Whole30.

You will need:

Bacon (ideally Whole30 approved, mine was not #oops)

Cherry tomatoes

Chicken breasts

Lettuce

Compliant mayo (I actually used Primal Kitchen Ranch)

Sheet pans

Instructions:

Pre-Heat the oven to 400 degrees

Cut bacon into small pieces, place on one sheet. (Use kitchen scissors!)

Arrange chicken and tomatoes on another – salt and pepper

Bake for 25 minutes — I watched the bacon and took some out a few minutes before the timer went off, as I don’t like it too burnt/crispy.

I ate mine over a big salad w/ the Primal Kitchen Ranch.

I actually served my kiddos this as a traditional BLT — I toasted bread, used mayo and shredded the chicken, added lettuce and tomato and of course they went nuts for bacon.  At first Bradley gave it a thumbs down, but I told him this was dinner, he was welcome to pick it a part and eat what he wanted but this was it.  A few minutes later he told me he was kidding and that he liked it—kids!  I will say he took the tomatoes out.

Joe just had his with real Ranch dressing, no salad and no toast.  I bet I could have stirred it up in a pasta and he would have enjoyed it as well!

No leftovers and no complaints = winning!

Let me know if you try it!

The original recipe can be found here. 

 

 

Gluten Free Meal Ideas

So I am a little over 2 weeks into this “Gluten Free” business.  I am not claiming that I know everything, let alone anything hah!  But I do know that I am feeling better and to me, that’s most important! I will preface by saying that I’ve had some odd digestive issues over the last few years, and I’m pretty sure that 4 years ago I did all the “allergy testing” and all that came up was bee pollen.  Fast forward, I’ve done an Endoscopy, and an ultrasound and again, nothing shows up. (Yay! and what the heck?!)

That said, I would say that I eat sort of healthy–and I always know that my body does best with a lot of veggies, greens, lean proteins and some complex carbs.  What I have noticed though was that almost immediately after eating my stomach would hurt, like a burning pain up near my ribs.  I was tired and sluggish, like absolutely no energy.  That’s why I went to my Primary Care Dr. (no help other than offering Anti-Depression meds and off the cuff mentioning maybe try  going Gluten Free) my GI Dr, who tried to help but Prevacid made me feel worse, and my amazing Acupuncturist who is the only one giving me ANY relief. She is focusing in on where my “heat” is and says it has more to do with my hormones than anything…

So while my main goal is to eat whole, real, actual foods, I am such a foodie and I LOVE cooking!  So I thought I’d share some of what I’ve been eating that doesn’t seem to bother me (or bother me too much).  So far I have noticed I have lost a few pounds, but I am not even focusing on that because I’m so focused on my GUT health and how to just feel amazing again.

Breakfast Ideas:

Soft boiled Eggs

Spinach

Hashbrowns

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Gluten Free Toast

Coconut spread

Egg Whites

Turkey Bacon

Spinach

 

Oatmeal

With flaxseed or chia seed

Add fruit (blueberries)

*However, I’m noticing if I eat oats in the morning, I feel very bloated  (super– I know, but not cool!) So I’m not sure about the oats…

I tried these pancakes out on Sunday for the kiddos and I.  We LOVED them!

Snacks:

This is the bread I got to use, if I am craving it.  It’s great toasted w/ avocado and this EBTB seasoning.

GF waffles

Almond butter

Strawberries

Chia seeds

My acupuncturist actually said to eat more soy and tofu— I think I’m Progestrone dominant? So I do!

Edamame w/ sea salt and a yummy juice.

I found this Protein at Wegmans and it’s so good you guys! It’s a serious treat. I made it just like the back of the tub says.

img_8061

Lunch:

Usually leftovers in a salad or bowl format…

Here I had leftover chicken cubed, rolled in almond flour that I baked the night before. I added asparagus, turkey bacon and some GF Coleslaw salad dressing

Dinner:

I didn’t take a picture, but this was so good!! I love Tiffany Beaston on You Tube; she is GF and even a little dairy free, so this was a great meal everyone like it!!

If I’m making a traditional pasta dish, for example, Linguine with Clam sauce, I just full out make it for Brooke and Joe. It’s great for lunch or dinner leftovers.  Bradley eats butter noodles and I made myself a GF Pasta, cooked up some Tofu and used Braggs Nutritional Yeast, lemon & broccoli. I thought it was great!

The point being, it’s a bit of a 3 ring circus in my kitchen, it does take a little extra time, but I feel great!

Extra Firm Tofu cooked in coconut oil with sea salt is so yummy!!

I did try out the Martha Stewart Baked Scallops recipe. Brooke, Joe and I liked it! I used GF bread crumbs which I actually think are sweeter and taste great. I served over regular and GF pastas.  Bradley would not try it, so he had pasta, veggies and turkey meatloaf (below.)

Giada’s turkey meatloaf is a staple here. I actually didn’t have any feta cheese, so I used Goat and Bradley still ate it! We ate it right up for lunches and dinner.

Another easy sub is rice for pasta, as rice is GF.  Also Rice noodles! I made this Thai Peanut dinner last night and made my own with Brown Rice noodles.  Delish!

NOLA

A few weeks back hubby and I got to go away, just the two of us!! It had been a few years since we were able to do such a thing, and boy did we enjoy it.  A company Joe works with flew us out to New Orleans for their annual conference.  We got to stay at this fancy hotel right in the French Quarter.

Pretty much as soon as we got there, we hit up Bourbon Street.  Disclaimer: If you take Bonine or Dramamine, I highly recommend not getting a Hurricane Drink.  I don’t do well on planes or with motion sickness in general, so I popped a Dramamine.  Oops.  I then didn’t really eat a whole lot because we traveled all day.  While I did chug a bunch of water, drinking this extra sugary beverage was not the best idea.  It was all fun in games until I came to a screeching halt! I survived, but didn’t enjoy Louisiana raw oysters….dem roast beef po boys though—mmm!

I felt much better after sleeping and the next morning we had breakfast at some funky little joint.  The french toast was to die for and of course I #putaneggonit

We went looking for my lifeline aka Starbucks, and stumbled onto the Mississippi River.  Haha typing that out reminds me of when my grandma used to make me spell it for her!

After our humbling experience at the Boone Hall Plantation last year, we definitely took note of the history here in New Orleans.

When we took a mini carriage ride/tour through the French Quarter, he shared with us the layouts of the homes.  There was usually a kitchen on the bottom, servants quarters above, small courtyard in between (to be like Versailles) and the owner’s home to the side or front?   Well, one night we were at a jazz bar and I went out back to use the bathroom, which I had to walk through a mini courtyard and when I opened the door to the ladies room this is what I saw!  How crazy, cool, weird and amazing was this?  The old ‘kitchen’ fireplace was still in tact.  Sure enough, there were a bunch of rooms above, which Joe and I thought gosh how hot it must have gotten in the servants areas!  I just loved seeing history like this.

On Tuesday we did a Food Tour with the whole group!  It was so cool.   I made sure to chug my water after my hurricane escapade the night before.

While we didn’t care for the raw oysters, these little guys were quite tasty!  Charbroiled, butter, lemon, wine, parm cheese & breadcrumbs–can’t go wrong there!!

Roast Beef Po’Boy.  So. Freaking. Good.  The French bread makes it!

We relaxed outside while waiting for the next round.

Fried Gator Bites!  It truly tasted just like chicken.  I’m wondering if this Remoulade sauce would taste like what we enjoyed down there.  I’ll have to ask my sister-in-law as she is from NOLA!

These shrimp were so tasty! I love dipping the bread in too…

Then as a dessert, we enjoyed Bread Pudding, which apparently you use the leftover French bread from the Po boys to make it.  I’ll need to find a recipe for this too! Any suggestions??

The owner of the company insisted we visit the Oldest Bar in America, Lafittes Blacksmith Shopso we basically had a giant happy hour here!

Wednesday was Joe’s 42nd birthday!! It was also the day where he had to speak on the panel.  Now, I don’t have to attend, but honestly I truly enjoy the keynote speaker and of course, I love supporting my husband.  I take credit in some of his success; he would not be able to get up and do all that he does, if I did not work 100% beside him doing all that I do.  We are a great team and if I can handle the behind the scenes stuff, then he can focus on his career.  Don’t get me wrong, I do work with our business too, but the main breadwinner is Joe.  Plus, I love getting all dolled up!

He actually won an award, I was so proud of him! He hates the extra attention, but he deserves all the applause.

Joe’s 42nd birthday, NOLA at a conference.

That evening we met for cocktails in hotel lounge and before we left for dinner, we stopped to admire my favorite –white roses!

The company pulled out all of the stops for their 20th Anniversary dinner.  We enjoyed French 75s at Arnauds as well as a spectacular dinner and conversations.

Our random table of new friends.  I was seated next to a Canadian foodie, but he’s not pictured.  We were going on and on about all the foods, drinks…he was a trip!

He was the one who ordered some fancy liquor and we toast to Joe, the company, life.

After celebrating into the night,  Joe had to wrap up the conference and by noon he was able to go grab lunch with me and see more.

That shrimp again!

This guy did me in, and I honestly think I’m still feeling its effects!!  Good old Buffalo sauce slathered on a fried oystery po boy.  #worthit

The one big #BUST of the trip was that for Joe’s birthday, I gifted him a really awesome racing experience, where he was to drive a Lambo around the NOLA race track.  Unfortunately, though it had not rained in 6 FREAKING WEEKS, it poured as we made our way 30 minutes there…thus resulting in no driving the Lambo.  I was crushed, pretty much in tears, and he was sad but not nearly as I!  I swear there will be a next time, maybe then my dad could drive and Bradley could watch.  Ugh, it totally sucked though, how cool would that have been??  He did sit and start it though… #lame.

We wandered around a little and I found William Faulkner’s house.  So cool!

We stuffed our faces, yet again with some po’boys.

One of my breakfasts was super yummy!  Loved this NOLA version of eggs benny…sweet potatoes yum!

We were at Café Beignet but didn’t try any.  #fail We did enjoy the view, live jazz music and some drinks…

Random old bar…

After our carriage ride/tour, we had to make sure we went back to the Oldest Bar in America for an authentic Hurricane.  According to our guide, he said these are the best on Bourbon St.  They use real juice, not a powder, so you don’t get all that nasty sugary taste/flavor and don’t feel sick afterwards!  It straight up tasted like juice, and I could see how very dangerous these could be!!

I was trying to have Joe take a photo of me in front of the bar/sign…this will do though! Haha.  It sums up the end of our getaway quite well:  Messy hair, crumbled red bull can/garbage…oh, Bourbon Street!

We attempted to rally that last night, but I could barely do dinner, I was beat.  My reflux/body had enough of the booze, the fried foods and all the things, so while I did enjoy a Muffalatta pizza, we were back in the hotel quite early.  I just couldn’t get into the whole drunken frat boy/puking scene happening on Bourbon.  BTW these shoes I bought specifically for NOLA and they did not disappoint! $20 and they were comfy, covered my toes from any–errr…grossness on Bourbon– and they seriously went with everything!

#ad

While we had so much fun and were so grateful for this experience, by Friday night/Saturday I was really missing my babies! We love traveling and it’s something that I want to do more of in years to come.  Rumor has it next year’s conference will be in Miami.  I haven’t been to South Beach since I was 20! Oh, I better prepare better for next time around!

Weekend Review

We had such a great weekend! As always, it flew by super fast!

Friday I snuck out for some “do you time” and honestly enjoyed my mani/pedi like no other! It was a great ‘cheers to me’ for having an awesome Summer home with my babies, and an amazing feeling knowing they were both off and in school while I soaked my tired feet! I went with a Fall color, kind of like a red wine!

After that I ran some errands, met up with my boys for a working lunch at a park and we were home to meet Brookie off the bus before we knew it.

Saturday was a pleasant surprise, as I had made plans to attend a freezer meal workshop with my girlfriend Cathy, and assumed I’d bring the kids.  Joe decided it was his Saturday off and took them instead! It was so wonderful to focus on chopping the meats, fixing/bagging up some recipes and most importantly have some GIRL time, I was so grateful! This tasty Chai comes out soon and you betcha I’ll be ordering some!

Saturday called for a night out with my honey, and since the temps are cooler, it was time to bust out one of my favorite faux leather jackets!  Still rocking open toe shoes though.  Had to show off that pedi!!

We dined at a local favorite and it was so good! I hear comments from time to time about how many date nights we go on, but honestly it’s THE BEST THING for us.  I miss him when we don’t see each other a lot and with two dogs, two kids and a business, it’s pretty much vital we get this alone time.  We always have a good time no matter what we do or where we go!

I didn’t snap a photo of the pork belly special—we were starving!  The pork was outstanding and they served it with avocado mousse, melon, watermelon & cucumber balls–drooling just thinking about it!

This pizza was also scrumptious!! It was like a salsa verde on a pizza with a chorizo, cilantro–total party in our mouths.

As for Sunday we had places we should have gone, but our bodies said rest…so I spent the morning finishing up Big Little Lies and honestly relaxing all day.  It was heavenly! I was full of energy this Monday morning and attacked the day!

Happy September!

4th of July 2019

We had so much fun on the 4th!  Joe and his best friend Chris LOVE this holiday and our kids all play so well, it’s always a good time.

Here’s the 2019 rendition of “the shirt”!

We enjoyed high 80/90 degree weather all day and it didn’t rain at all.

I’m not going to lie, it’s nice to not have him busy building firework displays and just hang out on his day off.

New recipe (thanks to my girl Ann!) We did Smoked Mac & Cheese.

1 lb of elbow macaroni

4 cups of milk ( did 3 cups 2% and 1 cup half and half)

1 brick of extra sharp cheddar

1 wedge of Gouda

1/2 velveeta block cubed

1 stick of butter

*I’d probably add another bit of cheese, muenster, colby, or even mozz.

We smoked it for 2 hours at 250 degrees, stirring every 1/2 hour.   There was nothing left and everyone had rave reviews. I thought it was great, but would add a little salt and more cheese next time.

I love these two.

This girl loves her fireworks!