Mother’s Day Weekend

Such a wonderful weekend spent with family and loved ones. We decided to spend Saturday with my mom to celebrate with her. It was wonderful as always. I told her I would cook and she would be in charge of the beverages. I made shrimp and grits and this salad.

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My Dad took over beverage making and made delicious margaritas. IMG_2402  

My Mom has some beautiful gardenias growing. They smell amazing.  IMG_2385

We ended the day watching Little Man play golf on the green behind their house. I hope he enjoys golf as much as we do.  IMG_2412

Sunday we spent the day celebrating my sweet Mother-In-Law. It was a great time with yummy barbecue (I forgot to take a picture) and mimosas. IMG_2416 IMG_2396

It was a perfect weekend and I just love the Mother’s in my life. I hope you enjoyed your weekend and showered your Mama’s with love.

xo

Recent Dinner Adventures

This week we were all over the place. My computer decided to stop working which took two days to fix. I am completely lost without it and needless to say today I am trying to play catch-up to make up for lost time. It is a little scary how dependent we are on technology. Luckily it was an easy (and somewhat inexpensive) fix. Anyhoo, on with the food. 

Spring Break was also this week so our meal plan was a little lax. I went with the flow a little bit and I am suffering now because of it. I just hate to make multiple trips to the store during the week. It saves so much time and money to make one big trip for the week and maybe one more small stop (we always need bananas mid-week) as opposed to stopping each night or worse, eating out because there was no plan.

Since I had Little Man with me for Spring Break we ate out lunch almost every day so I tried to lighten-up our dinners. Monday we went to the movies and I ate my weight in popcorn and Raisinets (did you know they have a dark chocolate flavor? I will neither confirm nor deny that the box was empty when we left.). Since I was in a movie-food coma dinner was light. I made a frittata with zucchini, mushrooms, spinach and Parmesan cheese. I also mashed up half of an avocado to put on top of toasted whole wheat mountain bread. Tomato topper and called it a day. 

Monday Dinner

Tuesday I took the kids to Gatorland. They had a blast. On our way home I grabbed some meatballs that were on sale from the grocery store. These were Teriyaki Pineapple flavored so I decided to have Asian-inspired dinner. I sauteed them in a little olive oil to heat through and then added, a small onion, zucchini and bell pepper. I combined some Tamari, honey and rice wine together and added at the last minute. I served this over rice. On the side was an avocado drizzled in a combination of sesame oil and lime juice. I also drizzled a combination of mayo, sriracha and ground ginger over the meatballs. I really enjoyed this. I think next time I will make cauliflower fried rice instead of white rice to amp up the veggies. 

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Wednesday I found spinach buy one get one at the grocery (yes if you are keeping track I have been to the grocery store every day this week so far). I use spinach for all sorts of things, salads, smoothies, and sometimes I will just put some at the bottom of whatever bowl I am eating dinner out of to add some nutrients. I had two containers so I decided to try and make pesto with one. I roasted some almonds in the oven and combined them with Parmesan cheese, garlic, the spinach and olive oil. I then added a little of  the pesto with some mojo pork I got at the grocery and tossed in some baby bowtie pasta. I loved the spinach pesto, but I think I went a little heavy on the garlic. Oh well, live and learn.

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Thursday the boys went to a hockey game so Princess and I ate together. I mixed the leftover mojo pork with some black beans. Topped with lime juice, bell pepper, sour cream and avocado.  I also put some spinach at the bottom of my bowl.

Thurs Dinner

Tonight is date night so we will eat out. Hopefully this will conclude our eating out/Spring Break festivities so we can get back to business-as-usual next week. 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

xo

Missing The Keys

Some of my favorite family memories involve the Florida Keys. We have been taking trips there annually since I was young. Some of the most important life events have happened in the Keys. My sister and brother-in-law were engaged and later married there, my very best friend was also engaged there. Some of my favorite memories come from time spent in the Keys. The Keys stretch out from just South of Miami to the Southernmost Point in Key West. We tend to spend most of our time in the Upper Keys (Key Largo, Tavernier, Islamorada). We also love Key West and the Lower Keys when we have the opportunity to go further south. It is a whole different world once you cross the Overseas Highway and enter the Keys. Things are more laid back, the water is gorgeous, the fishing is awesome, and most of all the food is amazing. You would expect the seafood to be delicious as the waters surrounding the Keys are filled with sea life and most places do not disappoint.

One of our very favorite places to eat in Key Largo is The Fish House. You must go when you are there as it is one of those places where you will have a great “Keys Experience”. The fish is always fresh and local. You can order your fish of choice several different ways, but I always choose the“Matecumbe” preparation. It is a combination of tomatoes, onions capers, lemon and olive oil, poured on top of your fish of choice. It is magical. The menu says “often copied but never duplicated”. This is so true, but I still try  to capture the flavors myself at home when I can.

While at the coast over the weekend we picked up some fresh Cobia. Cobia is very mild and when it is available we always try to pick some up. Since we had the fish component, I wanted to see if I could try to replicate the flavors of the “Matecumbe” sauce.

The Fish House’s version has capers and basil. Both of which I forgot to get while I was at the store. But I did have some green olives and spinach so I substituted that and it was really delicious. It is true though, although this version was pretty good, it is definitely not as good as the original. I guess that means we will just have to make a trip back down there soon.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of us in the Keys.

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Us way before kids in Key West. What am I doing with my arm?

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Little Man’s first trip to the Keys (approx 6 months)

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This was the first trip for The Princess (approx 7 months)

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Lobster!

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Okay, enough of that here is the recipe.

 

Cobia "Matecumbe"
One of our favorite fish dishes from one of our favorite places.
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Ingredients
  1. 5 tomatoes, diced
  2. 1/2 red onion, diced
  3. 2 shallots, diced
  4. 1/3 cup sliced green olives
  5. 1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
  6. 1/2 cup olive oil
  7. Juice of 1 lemon
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. 1 to 2 cobia (or any mild fish) fillets
Instructions
  1. Combine tomato, onion, shallots, green olives, and spinach in a bowl.
  2. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, stir.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Place oven rack 6 inches from top element.
  5. Preheat broiler to 500 degrees.
  6. Sprinkle each filet with salt and pepper and creole seasoning (I used Tony Chachare's).
  7. Place under the broiler for approximately 4 minutes a side*. *This all depends on the size of the fillets, you will just need to keep an eye on them).
  8. To serve, top each filet with 1/2-1 cup of the topping.
Notes
  1. This topping can be used on just about anything. It is awesome on fish but just as good on chicken, steak, eggs (you get the idea). Enjoy!
Adapted from The Fish House "Fish Matecumbe Recipe"
Steph in Symmetry http://stephinsymmetry.com/

 

 

Meal Planning

I have been trying really hard to keep with a meal plan every week for our weeknight dinners. It not only helps us stay on track health-wise but also budget-wise. I was making my list and grocery shopping on Sunday’s but it actually takes a good chunk of time and honestly I would rather spend a full free day hanging with my family, not pouring over the internet looking for recipes and spending an hour at the grocery store. So I have started planning and shopping on Monday and I will say it is working a lot better. That way I can shop solo which is always a little easier and a LOT quicker. I have this dry erase sticker that we keep on the fridge. That way everyone knows what the plan is. But mainly it is so I stay on track.

I am really really trying to get to a point where the whole family eats the same thing. While my daughter is pretty game for just about any food, my son is super-picky. I always say that for being the child of parents who will eat (or at least try) ANYTHING, we created the pickiest eater. He is definitely a “kid food” type. But I’ve found that the more he helps me cook, the more new things he is willing to try. I think being part of the process really interests him. So, for now we have two meal plans, one for us and one for the kids. But I hope to change that soon.

Harper Eat

Here is what our plan looks like this week.

Monday

Us- Taco Salads. Ground beef sautéed with coconut oil, a strawberry onion (picked two up at a farm stand after we left the Strawberry Festival. These are so good), 2 zucchini and the following spices, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Topped with mashed avocado, tomatoes and hot sauce. I added some cottage cheese to mine.

Kids- Chicken nuggets, 365 Organic Shells and Cheese, frozen corn, whole wheat King’s Hawaiian rolls, strawberries for the Princess and grapes for Little Man.

Tuesday

Eating out. Dinner with Little Man’s Tee Ball team

Wednesday

Us-Crockpot Pork Roast. I will normally put a 2lb roast in the crock pot with an onion, a couple cloves of garlic, chicken stock, onion powder, salt and pepper. I keep the seasonings pretty basic because we normally spread this out over two days. We will eat this with roasted veggies. I normally roast broccoli, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes all at the same time.

Kids- Grilled Cheese on Whole Wheat King’s Hawaiian Rolls. Frozen corn and pineapple to go with.

Thursday

Us- This is a Tee Ball game night. Convenience is key so we aren’t tempted to just eat out after. Leftover pork will turn into carnitas bowls. I re-heat the pork and then eat over broccoli slaw (normally I would use brown rice but I’m really trying this week to stay away from rice at dinnertime) and top with all sorts of stuff. Salsa, avocado (more than likely leftover roasted veggies too), fat free greek yogurt (for me), tomatoes, cucumbers and lots of hot sauce.

Kids-Little Man will probably have a cheese stick and peanut butter and jelly sandwich before the game. The Princess will snack at the game and then when we get home they will have homemade pizzas on pita with strawberries/pineapple and broccoli “trees”.

Friday

This is the day we normally play it by ear. Little Man has golf lessons that last late so when we grab him he is normally starving. We may have leftovers or take out. Friday’s are always a toss-up and that is fine with me as long as we stuck to the plan for the beginning portion of the week for the most part 😉

I really want to try eat a little better during the week so I don’t feel so bad indulging in this on the weekend.

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It is all about goals right?

What is your meal planning process? Any tips or tricks that work for you?

xo

Paleo-ish

So we have been feeling a little sluggish in the household lately. Our main motto is to try and be as healthy as possible during the week so we can indulge a little on the weekends. Well since the holidays, our approach feels like two steps forward, three steps back. Our weekends have run over into the weeks and our M-F routine has gone out the window. Enter: Paleo.

I will say it is definitely a better fit for my husband who is a meat guy. He can’t be bothered with “sides” so I thought this would be good for him. I am by no means a Dr. so I can’t speak to the science of it, but basically we have eliminated sugar, grains and dairy, and pumped up the protein, veggies and fruits. As to be expected the husband was a fan and is officially on-board. He has downloaded two Apps and I keep getting emails with different recipes to try.  For me, I was hoping to use this as a jumping off point to get back into some sort of reasonable eating pattern.  I’m not sure I can move away from my yogurt and whole grain carbs. I feel like with my body, when eaten in moderation, they actually help my energy and keep me fuller longer.

Here are some of the things we ate this week.

I couldn’t give up my smoothies. Except for one day when I had eggs, I still had smoothies for breakfast and some of them did include yogurt-oops!

I only took a picture of one.

Here are the Breakfasts.

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This smoothie had almond milk, frozen banana, protein powder and blueberries.

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Excuse this horrible photo, our house is super-dark in the morning. This was two egg whites, banana with Trader Joe’s Roasted Almond Butter (Hurry up and get here TJ’s!!) with strawberries and blueberries on the side.

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This one was the husband’s. Definitely more “Paleo”. Leftover mojo pork, a fried egg, tomato slices and a quarter of an avocado. Looks kind of gross here but he was really hungry and when I was ready to snap the pic he had already dug in. Men.

Lunches were good.

Monday I got to eat mine with this smiley face.

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Deli turkey over shredded kale, brussels sprouts, romaine and broccoli slaw. Added a tomato, half an avocado and salsa for dressing. As you can see the strawberries and blueberries were promptly confiscated by the berry-monster.

Tuesday’s lunch was was a lot like Monday.

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Same salad mix but with leftover roasted broccoli and brussels sprouts and I added dried cranberries and sunflower seeds (they came in the kale/brussels sprouts salad kit). Pineapple on the side.

Wednesday was Chipotle with this guy. We had to head home so we took it to-go and ate outside.

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His cilantro rice, chips and chocolate milk. Cheese quesadilla already gone.

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Mine was a Barbacoa salad with veggies, tomato and medium salsas and guacamole. I added Tabasco Chipotle sauce when I got home. This was super yummy and it was nice to be able to eat out.

Dinners

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This one was spicy Italian chicken sausage sauteed with broccoli slaw and the kale/brussels sprout salad mix. Roasted cauliflower, broccoli and brussels topped with Sriracha. Tomato and avocado on the side.

The other nights that I didn’t photo included a Brazilian Curry Chicken from PaleOMG. It was really good and we had leftovers the next night and last night we had spaghetti squash with turkey tomato sauce. I just made up the sauce with some whole canned tomatoes, mushrooms, ground turkey breast and tons of seasonings. Pretty tasty, but I think I will work on it a bit, to see if I can get more flavor (add chili flake, tomato paste maybe).

All in all the week went okay. I’m not sure I’m ready to commit 100% but I will incorporate some of the fundamentals because I think they work for us. Love: lots of veggies, fruits and proteins. Don’t love: the uber-prep time for everything and of course the yogurt-thing. 😉

We’ll see how it goes.

Have a great weekend!

What are your thoughts on Paleo? Like or dislike?