Easy Breakfast Bake

I scrapped our dinner plans yet again tonight. Brian had a late conference call, so when one of my friends asked us to meet them at our school’s Spirit Night at Burger House (which I’d completely forgotten about), I threw the kids in the car and off we went. Any excuse to not have to cook TWO dinners okay by me.

I’m on the hunt for a good breakfast option. I’ve been eating Greek yogurt with fruit and almonds, but for some reason it makes me feel gross when I work out afterwards. I should probably just get up earlier rather than wolfing something down 30 minutes before my class… buuuuuut sleep? I like it.

Anyway, seeking something high protein and fast and not just straight up eggs. I found this recipe on Carrots N Cake for a healthy broccoli and parmesan hash brown bake and decided to give it a shot. It’s actually in the oven right this minute. I plan to portion it out and then just zap it in the microwave in the morning.

Ingredients:

It comes together really quickly. You just beat 5 eggs, then stir in riced broccoli (or chopped broccoli), grated parmesan, milk (I used half and half because all we had was chocolate milk), and garlic powder/onion powder/salt/pepper. Then top with cut up hash brown patties. Um, so be careful if you’re cutting frozen hash browns, ‘kay?  I almost lost a finger.

Pour into a greased 8×8 dish:

Bake for 35 minutes:

I’ll let you know how it is tomorrow!

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Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Weekend Recap

I had dinner all planned out tonight, but then life got crazy. Jack had soccer practice from 5:45-7, and I spent the half hour before practice (when I intended to get dinner started in the Instant Pot) scrambling to find a pair of soccer socks and shin guards. Also I planned on making pork ragu and Brian reminded me that he gave up red meat for Lent… which is what I had planned for TWO of the three dinners I’m cooking this week.

Also AT&T is digging cables in my FRONT YARD and blocking the entire street in front of my house, so I had to park way down the block and make like 20 trips back and forth from the car to get my 400 bags of groceries into the house.

Can you tell it’s Monday??

On a lighter note, we actually had a really fun weekend! On Friday Isla had soccer practice and then we had dinner at the Knights of Columbus fish fry (wild night!). My parents kept the kids on Saturday night so we could go to the Exchange Club auction. It was at Gilley’s downtown and we had so much fun! I wish I had more pics but it was dark and they all came out grainy…

On Sunday my mom took Isla to the ballet, so Brian and I took Jack to see the Lego Batman Movie at Alamo Drafthouse. I’ll admit that I wasn’t super excited to see that one (and the first 10 minutes? Holy over-stimulation) but it was actually really cute and funny.

Ok random Trader Joe’s find! Anyone tried this tomato-feta soup? It’s in the refrigerated case near the hummus and dips. SO GOOD. It’s more tomato-y than creamy, which I actually like.

Ok Brian is waiting on me to watch Big Little Lies so I better run. Any other Trader Joe’s finds I should know about??

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Easy Lentil Dip

I think I need to do a whole series on food that “looks gross but I swear it tastes great!” Last night we had book club and I was thisclose to phoning it in and just bringing a bottle of wine. But then I was scanning Pinterest in the carpool line (shh… breaking the rules) and ran across the easiest recipe ever for lentil dip. Ready? Go to Trader Joe’s and buy:

  • 1 package of cooked lentils (the vacuum pack in the produce section)
  • 1 tub of bruschetta topping (refrigerated, near the hummus)
  • 1 tub of feta

Dump about 2 cups of the lentils in a bowl. Add the bruschetta mix (I used the entire tub) and as much feta as you like. Stir. Season with salt, pepper and maybe a splash of red wine vinegar to taste. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to let the flavors meld. Serve with pita chips.

SO. EASY. I feel like I’ve made this before but maybe just ate it by itself? It’s way better as a dip.

I’m so tired. I got home late last night after book club (and a glass or three of wine) and crashed, and at some point during the night Isla climbed in bed with me. Around 4:30 I hear this little voice whisper, “Mommy, I think I wet the bed.”

YUP. SURE DID. And of course not her bed with the waterproof mattress cover. So she got to go back to her clean, dry bed while I attempted to strip our sheets and clean pee out of the mattress at 4am. These are the days, right?

Busy weekend! Soccer practice, birthday party, auction, first soccer game of the season… catch y’all on Monday!

Posted in March 2017 | Leave a comment

Mardi Gras

Happy Mardi Gras! Both kids ran out of school wearing beads and Isla refused to take this mask off while we shopped for groceries. Every time someone at Kroger smiled at her, she yelled, “STOP LAUGHING AT ME!”

Good times.

So tonight’s dinner was awesome but time consuming: paleo chicken pot pie soup. This would be a great recipe for a lazy Sunday afternoon- lots of chopping and simmering. I actually enjoy recipes like that, but maybe not at 6:30 on a Tuesday night when I’ve been cooking for an hour and a half?

Ingredients:

(Not pictured: chicken breasts that I cooked in the Instant Pot on Sunday and shredded.)

The soup is REALLY good, thick, creamy and super filling. The creaminess comes from a cooked potato-coconut milk puree that is stirred into the soup. Also love all of the fresh herbs and veggies.

UGH this lighting.

With salad and fresh bread:

I’m STUFFED, but it was so good! Lots leftover, too- and I bet it’s better the second day.

I am so beat. This morning’s workout was super intense (so. many. burpees.) and then I spent the rest of the morning-afternoon cleaning the house. Seeing as there’s no This Is Us tonight, maybe I’ll actually make it to bed at a decent hour! Or maybe I’ll just go eat more king cake…

Posted in February 2017 | Leave a comment

Cabbage Roll Bowls

Thanks for all of the podcast recommendations!! I’ve added them to my subscription list and look forward to being really unproductive in the next few weeks, ha.

Monday dinners are tricky because Jack has soccer from 5:45-dark, so we don’t get home until after 7- and of course the kids are starving. I planned to try a new soup recipe but ran out of time, so instead I made these un-stuffed cabbage bowls that were intended for later in the week. I made them in the Instant Pot, but kind of had to do it in steps. I cooked the beef/spices/tomatoes/raisins (I know- sounds weird, right??) on high pressure for 15 minutes before soccer, then let the pressure naturally release while we were gone. Then when we got home I added the cabbage and rice, cooked at high pressure for another 3 minutes, then quick released.

I served it to Jack, and he sniffed his bowl and goes, “Well it smells a lot better than it looks.” Ha! But yeah. It tastes better than it looks, too. At first I wished it had a little more tomato flavor, but by the end it had grown on me. And Jack and Brian both loved it, too. It’s just a good easy, hearty meal for busy weeknights. If you want to cut carbs you could leave out the rice or use cauli rice instead. Or sub ground turkey if you want to avoid red meat.

Okay that’s all I got! Anyone else watching Big Little Lies? I read the book a while back and loved it, them immediately forgot basically everything about the story line (this happens to me with EVERY book and movie- anyone else??). Mom brain problems.

Posted in February 2017 | Leave a comment

Crazy Thursdays

Y’all, Thursdays be CRAZY. Went to the gym this morning, attempted to clean the house, met Brian for lunch, picked up Isla (my mom picks Jack up most Thursdays) and rushed home to get her dressed for ballet, took her to ballet, dropped off dinner with a friend who just had a sweet baby boy, came home and heated up the kids’ dinner, then as soon as Brian pulled up I rushed out the door to a 100 Women meeting. It’s been pretty much nonstop and I’m dyyyyyying because we haven’t watched This Is Us yet and I’m trying to avoid spoilers.

OH! So my newest obsession? Podcasts! As usual, I’m so late to the game on this. I spend a fair amount of time either in the car by myself or in the kitchen cooking. I can’t see our TV from the kitchen so I used to listen to Pandora, but just recently I’ve gotten hooked on 2 podcasts (I listen through our Amazon Echo). First- Missing Richard Simmons. Y’ALL. I swear this the new Serial. It’s fascinating!! There have only been two episodes so far and they’re fairly short, so it’s easy to catch up. I keep trying to talk to Brian about it and he looks at me like I have three heads. Just trust me, it’s good.

Also- My Favorite Murder. It’s so creepy and weird, but again, fascinating. Probably not for everyone but I love the whole psychology/true crime aspect.

What else should I be listening to? I listened to a Stuff You Should Know episode about artificial sweeteners today and then felt really guilty filling up my Diet Coke at lunch. And yet I still drank it.

For dinner tonight I made the sloppy joe meatballs from my Primal Cravings cookbook. I always go back to that recipe- it’s so good and Jack likes the meatballs. It’s technically a paleo recipe but I serve them on Hawaiian buns to make little meatball sliders. I don’t have a good pic but I’ve made them a million times so if you want to see just type “sloppy joe meatballs” in my search bar.

Yay for Friday! Have a great weekend!

Posted in February 2017 | 4 Comments

Instant Pot Chili

This week is causing me major anxiety- just a lot of meetings, school obligations, kids’ activities, etc. Part of me is really ready for summer and not having a schedule (remind me of this in July when I’m going nuts trying to entertain these two, ha).

Today I had cafeteria duty at school, which is always fun. The kids are hilarious. One of the kindergartners talked to me for a good 5 minutes about how he prefers his Go-Gurts frozen and not just chilled. Don’t we all?? And I love getting the chance to eat lunch with Jack. I’m sure his excitement at having mom at school is short lived so gotta take advantage while it lasts…

A few weeks ago I made a recipe for black bean chili that came from Target (see that post here). It was delicious but I hated having to brown the turkey, remove it from the pan, then cook the sweet potatoes. Too many steps. So tonight I tried it in the Instant Pot and it was SO MUCH BETTER.

(The original recipe doesn’t call for meat but I added it to up the protein.)

Ingredients:

I heated a little olive oil in the IP on saute mode, added the ground turkey and cooked through. Then I just dumped in the bag of raw sweet potatoes, black beans (drained/rinsed), corn (drained), Frontera skillet sauce, diced tomatoes and 2 cups of chicken broth. Set the IP to manual for 20 minutes and walked away. That’s IT.

The sweet potatoes were perfectly cooked and I didn’t have to sit there and babysit them on the stove while they browned. Plus it all cooks in one pot and you can skip the “brown and remove the meat” part. We topped ours with shredded cheese, diced avocado and Greek yogurt.

I can’t believe tomorrow is already Wednesday- I guess that’s the advantage to having a busy week!! Friday comes faster!

Posted in February 2017 | Leave a comment

Recovering

Oh man, Y’ALL… last night?? I was hit with a major case of food poisoning around 1am. It was AWFUL. I was lying in bed and all of a sudden felt really dizzy. I sat up and immediately threw up everywhere. It was insane. I’ve never had food poisoning before and I cannot believe how fast it hit. The whole episode lasted about an hour- just lots of vertigo, cold sweats and throwing up- but I seriously have never felt that bad before. I think I’ve scarred poor Brian for life (and Isla too, who just happened to be in our bed when it hit). And of course the kids were out of school today, which is just perfect timing for a sick mama. Luckily I felt much better this morning and Jack & Isla were fine with having a pretty low-key day.

Now that THAT loveliness is out of the way…

I finally tried risotto in the Instant Pot! My absolute favorite risotto recipe is this lemon-mascarpone version from Giada, but you have to stir constantly for half an hour and who has time for that? I also do not serve mine in a cup carved from a lemon. OMGiada. Anyway, I ran across this recipe for lemon-pepper risotto made in the instant pot and decided to give it a shot. It’s really simple- you saute a diced onion in olive oil, add the arborio rice and toast for a minute, deglaze with lemon juice, pour in chicken stock & lemon zest and set on manual for 6 minutes. Once the timer goes off, you actually remove the inner pot (to halt the cooking), stir for a minute and then add cheese and butter. I added fresh parsley as well. We had it with stuffed salmon and roasted asparagus:

Pretty good! I want to try the mushroom version next.

Posted in February 2017 | Leave a comment

Cheater Chicken

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! Hope all of you had a fabulous v-day. We have a date night on Friday to celebrate, so last night was pretty low key. We grabbed Tex-Mex at Desperado’s (because tacos = love) and then watched This Is Us on the couch after the kids went to bed. SO exciting.

Today I chaperoned a field trip for Jack’s class. We saw Junie B. Jones at the Dallas Children’s Theater and it was really cute- I kind of want to go back again and take Isla. We really need to just bite the bullet and buy season tickets. Jack & the Beanstalk is coming in March and Jack is already begging to go. Anyway field trips are awesome but those bus rides were WAY more fun 20+ (ugh, more like 25??) years ago. My ears are still ringing.

On Monday I picked up a lemon-rosemary rotisserie chicken at Central Market, and that poor guy was still sitting in the fridge tonight. I ended up ransacking the fridge for veggies I could roast and came up with half an onion, a bag of baby carrots, 2 sweet potatoes and a sad bag of brussels sprouts. I chopped all of those, drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt/pepper/garlic powder/onion powder/rosemary and threw them in the oven at 450. OH I also threw in some unpeeled garlic cloves! Roasted garlic is always a good thing, especially if you have good bread to smear it on (which I didn’t, so I just ate them straight like a boss).

After about 10-15 minutes, I took the veggies out and nestled the chicken in the middle. Put back in the oven for about 15 more minutes. I wish I’d taken a pic because it was really pretty and smelled AMAZING. So basically it was like I’d spent hours on this beautiful roasted chicken, with barely any of the work.

My not-so-pretty plate. But it tasted good! The chicken juices (gross, sorry) helped season the veggies even more.

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in February 2017 | Leave a comment

Mondays Be Crazy

I’ve been running around like a maniac today- gym this morning, Valentine errands, grocery shopping, parent-teacher conference for Isla, soccer practice for Jack, dinner, homework… Mondays be crazy.

First things first. On Friday Jack competed in an academic fair with all of the local Catholic schools. He competed in the first grade math division and won third place!! He’s been preparing for months (worksheets… SO MANY WORKSHEETS) so it was awesome to see all of his hard work pay off.

As I mentioned, today was nuts. I grabbed a rotisserie chicken at Central Market and planned to have that for dinner with a bagged salad (exciting, I know)- but when I pulled out the salad at 7pm I realized that it had gone south a few days ago. Womp womp. SO we decided to save the chicken for later and ordered Halal Guys from Caviar. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE meal delivery apps??

Halal Guys has been on my list for a while, but the first Dallas location was pretty inconvenient. The 2nd is much closer to our house but every time I drive by there’s a huge line. I ordered the small chicken plate, which comes with chicken, rice, lettuce, tomatoes and pita bread:

Brian had tried it already and raved about the white sauce. Apparently in the restaurant they just walk around and with the sauce and offer to add it to your food, but when you have it delivered, they send these big packets. Um, HOLY CALORIES?! That’s basically an entire meal.

I ended up topping mine with red wine vinegar and just a teeeeeeeeny bit of the white sauce. Lordy.

Verdict? Pretty dang good! The meat reminded me more of pulled pork than chicken, which is weird but I’ll take it. Loved the rice and the bread (obviously, carbs). The small size was perfect. Brian ordered a gyro plate in the regular size- here’s how they compare:

Off to assemble Valentines!

Posted in February 2017 | Leave a comment