Whole 30 Week 3 Recap

I can’t believe I’ve made it almost 19 days of Whole30! I’m still feeling great, less lethargic in the afternoons, sleeping deep at night, and my skin is cleared up. I think I could get used to making a better effort to include Whole30 meals in my regular lifestyle, even after the 30 days have been completed. For me, the biggest benefit of doing Whole30 has been the mind-shift and really evaluating what I’m eating and how it’s going to make me feel. Yes, I could totally eat an entire bag of Sour Patch Kids, by myself, in a day–but do I really want to deal with the spiking/diving blood sugars and a broken out face the next day? Just food for thought, really. Anyway, so the experience has been great and I officially have one more week to recap so stay tuned for that one. Here are a few of the recipes that I’ve made this week.

Zucchini Pasta with Chicken Sausage

Peel whole zucchini length wise until you hit the seed core–you’ll have some fettuccini-looking pieces of zucchini this way. You can also use a spiralizer but I didn’t have one so I just used a regular vegetable peeler. I sautéed my chicken sausage in a little bit of olive oil and then tossed in the zucchini for a few minutes until tender. This was such a buttery dish, even though it didn’t contain any butter at all. This dish was also really filling and almost made me not miss regular pasta.

Cauliflower Hashbrowns

Again, this recipe was delicious and so easy to make. I honestly couldn’t tell this was mostly cauliflower and I even had one of my sisters try it before I told her what was in it–and she loved it too. I tried to take a better picture of the finished product, but they kept disappearing as I was making them. *Ahem, certain sister*

1 head shredded cauliflower
2 shredded potatoes
3 eggs
3 tsp seasoning (I used a Cajun blend)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for pan

Heat skillet on stove with olive oil coating the pan. Combine all ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined. Next, ball up small portions of the hashbrown mix and fry on one side for 4-5 minutes. Flip and repeat until both sides are brown and crispy. This would be an awesome addition to “Breakfast for Dinner” meals.

Banana Almond Ice Cream

I had the hankering for something sweet the other night and whipped up this little concoction. This was pretty delicious and gave me the “I just ate ice cream and I’m satisfied” feeling.

4 frozen bananas
1/4 cup chopped almonds
Canned coconut milk to thin
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

I mixed all ingredients in a blender until the mixture was smooth. Then, I poured the ice cream into a glass dish and put in the freezer for a couple of hours. You could probably leave this for a few more hours, or even overnight, but I was getting hangry and couldn’t want any longer.

I hope you’re able to make some of these recipes and that you enjoy them! I’m already looking for things to make for Week 4 and I’ll share those with you next week.

Love from, Amy.

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Whole 30 Week 2 Recap

Welcome back for the Week 2 recap of my Whole30 experience! This week was so busy that I didn’t do a great job with meal planning, but I thought I’d share the few recipes that I have and my thoughts on how it’s going so far.

Coffee with Coconut Milk/Cinnamon

This has been a lifesaver for having with coffee instead of regular half and half. I bought a few cans of the “light” type because it had more water and wasn’t more solidified like regular coconut milk. I also used a milk frother a few times and it made a pretty good latte. Sprinkle a little bit if cinnamon on the top and it’s even better.

Chicken Sausage and Vegetables

This meal is one of my favorite things to make when you just need something quick and healthy. I love the chicken sausage that Aldi has in the store and all you have to do is chop up the links and saute them with whatever vegetables you choose.

Banana Almond Butter Muffins

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This recipe was so simple to make and it only has 5 ingredients. I added in some blueberries toobecause they were on sale for .99 at Aldi. So this recipe actually had 6 ingredients, ha!

1 cup almond butter
2 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Blend all ingredients together until well mixed. Pour batter into a silicone muffin pan. Bake for about 15 minutes. Let the muffins cool for a bit before removing from the muffin pan. Enjoy!!

Crock Pot Vegetable Soup

I made this soup the other day, for a dinner with friends, and it hit the spot after a really long day. Crock pot recipes are the best, aren’t they? This recipe is also Daniel Fast approved.

6 cups vegetable broth
20 oz chopped vegetables of your choice–I used celery and carrots
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with liquid
3 large potatoes peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all into a crock pot. Cover and cook on Low heat for 6-8 hours. Ladle into bowls and soup’s on! This is also really yummy if you top it off with some sliced avocado.

Whew, I’m ready for this weekend to meal plan better for Week 3. I’m excited though that I’ve made it 12 days and I’m starting to feel so much better. My sugar cravings are almost nothing what they were last week or the weeks during the holidays, and I’m sleeping MUCH better–which I’ve had problems with for months.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s Week 3 recap!

Love from, Amy.

Whole 30 Week 1 Recap

On Fridays during January, I will be taking you through a weekly recap of my Whole30 experience. In case you’ve never heard of Whole30, it is basically a nutritional reset and you cut out things like dairy, sugar, legumes, alcohol, and grains for 30 days. I have been wanting to try Whole30 for a while because it does kind of help reset your system, it helps you to think creatively about what you eat, and it also helps to point out specific things that you might have issues with. My biggest dread in doing Whole30 was cutting out dairy because I love cream in my coffee, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, etc. However, I’ve almost made it a week and it’s been good so far!

I thought I would share with you some of the things that I’ve made this week and how to make them. I’m already starting to get together a food plan for Week 2 and I’ll share that recap with you next Friday. There are SO many recipes for Whole30 approved meals on Pinterest, but you can also find out more about Whole30 on the website by clicking here.

Oven Roasted Potatoes

My best friend, who is a chef, taught me the easiest way to make oven potatoes. Chop up the amount of potatoes you want and then soak them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes. By doing this, the starch comes off the potatoes and it makes it quicker and easier to bake. Then, drain off the water and pat dry them with a towel as much as possible. Toss a little bit of olive oil in the bowl and whatever seasonings you want. Heat the oven to 450 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Spread the potatoes on the baking sheet and DON’T CROWD THEM. Yes, it really does make a difference. Bake the potatoes for about 30-40 minutes,  or until they reach the desired amount of crispness.

Tomato Dijon Turkey Meatballs

Yuuuuuummmmm!! These didn’t last long in my house. I doubled this recipe because I was cooking for my family that night but the recipe is for a single batch. A single batch makes 10-12 meatballs.

1.5 lbs ground turkey
2 Tbs horseradish sauce
2 Tbs dijon mustard
4 Tbs tomato paste
3 Tbs dried basil
2 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients together until well mushed. Form the mixture into meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. These aren’t too spicy but they have so much flavor! Super easy and super yummy!

Baked Cinnamon Apples

One night I had INTENSE cravings for sugar and just needed something to munch on. I kind of ad-libbed this recipe. I sliced up 2 granny smith apples and then spread a little bit of coconut oil on each slice. I sprinkled cinnamon over top and baked at 350 for about 15 minutes. This is also super easy if you need a quick, warm snack.

Kale and Potato Scrambled Eggs

This meal was exactly what it sounds like. I cooked some hash brown cut potatoes in a little bit of olive oil until they became crispy. I then scrambled a few eggs in with the potatoes and wilted some kale into the mixture. I love making scrambled egg dishes because you can add in so many different things.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

I was a little skeptical of this recipe because I’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower, but after giving it a try I think I’ll be making some more recipes like this in the future.

1 head of chopped cauliflower (it’s probably easiest to use a food processor to shred the cauliflower instead of using a cheese grater like I did)
1 chopped onion
1-2 cups sweet green peas
2 cups broccoli
1 Tbs coconut oil
3 eggs
Salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos

In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil and then add in the onion and garlic until the onions become clear. Add in the other vegetables, except cauliflower, and cook until soft. Then add in the chopped cauliflower and the coconut aminos. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs with salt and pepper and add the egg mixture to the vegetables once the cauliflower is soft.  The coconut aminos is a great alternative to soy sauce but there is definitely a coconut taste so you’ll want to add salt and pepper to taste. This dish was so filling and it really didn’t seem like you were eating cauliflower.

Sausage Egg Muffins

I’ve been eating these for breakfasts this week, and for a few lunches at work. These really do taste like you’re eating pizza in a muffin, even though there isn’t any cheese in it.

1.25 lbs turkey sausage (I found mine at Aldi in the link form but I just removed the casings before cooking)
2 Tbs minced garlic
2/3 cup chopped tomatoes (I didn’t have any on hand so I had to skip them this time)
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
1 tsp onion powder
10 eggs
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400. Brown the sausage in a skillet and then set aside. In a bowl, mix together the eggs and seasonings and then add in the sausage. Pour mixture into silicone muffin pan but don’t fill to the very brim. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the muffins begin to brown on top. These were so yummy!

 

As far as snacks that I’ve had this week, I’ve been eating almonds, medjool dates, La Croix, Rxbars, and fruit. I’ve also been drinking plain, black coffee this week but I’m going to try to figure out a coconut milk creamer situation because I’m not used to straight, black coffee yet.

This week has been a challenge for sure but I’ve learned how to make so many good things and I’m ready for Week 2. Stay tuned!

Love from, Amy.

Love From Amy’s Kitchen: Christmas Baking 

Merry Christmas!! I hope you all well and enjoying this glorious day celebrating the birth of Christ with friends and family. This weekend has been a busy one with baking and food preparation and I thought I would share two different recipes with you today, in case you’re in the baking mood as well. I tried to post this a few days before Christmas but some illness got in the way of that. Better late than never though, so here it goes!

Egg Nog Cookies

The holiday season is prime time for egg nog and if you have a little bit to spare, make up a quick batch of these melt-in-your-mouth cookies!

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used the Krusteaz Gluten Free pictured below)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup eggnog

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Wisk together all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and then set aside. In a stand up mixer, whip together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks next, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and egg nog and then turn the mixer on to a low speed. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined.

Once a nice cookie dough has been formed, you’re ready to start placing dough on the cookie sheet. You can place parchment paper on a cookie sheet if you want but I used silicone baking sheets instead. I also used a cookie dough scoop to make each one the same size. Place in the pre-heated oven for about 14-16 minutes, or until slightly golden brown on top. This recipe made about 30 cookies.

 

Homemade Marshmallows

I’ve recently seen pictures of huge, homemade marshmallows in cups of hot chocolate and they’ve always looked so much better than the store-bought ones, so I really wanted to give this a try. The end result was totally worth it!

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of a stand up mixer, with the wisk attachment, and let it sit while you make the syrup portion. Next, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water and cook until the sugar dissolves and the liquid becomes more clear. Then, turn the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a thermometer. Once 240 degrees has been reached, remove the syrup from the heat.

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Turn the mixer on to a low speed and then SLOWLY add in the HOT syrup with the dissolved gelatin. Turn up the mixer to a medium-high speed for about 15 minutes, until the mixture becomes thick and fluffy. Also add in the vanilla extract during this time. It would be really fun to add in candy cane bits or other flavored extracts to make these more unique–but ideas for next time.

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With a sieve, dust a glass baking dish with powdered sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan–quickly too because it will start to solidify, smooth out the top, and then dust again the top with more powdered sugar. This will need to sit out overnight so that it can dry out. I just placed a clean towel over top of the dish.

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The next day you can cut the marshmallows into shapes! I just went for cutting them into squares this time but you can use all sorts of cookie cutters to get them in fun shapes. Voila!! These are so much creamier than the store-bought ones and they just have an extra element of “umph.”

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I hope you have fun making these recipes and I hope you have an even better rest of your Christmas Day! See you in the next blog post!

Love from, Amy.

 

Love From Amy’s Kitchen: Mexican Pozole 

Hi friends! I’m really excited to share this soup recipe with y’all today. I ate a version of this soup about 2 years ago at Lucky’s on the Green here in Tulsa and I have been wanting to re-create if for about that long. I remember that the soup was pretty spicy though so I made some adjustments so that it was fairly mild. Keep on reading below if you want to learn how to make Mexican Pozole!

Ingredients:

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  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 13oz uncured pork sausages–I also really like this kind because it is free of nitrites, preservatives, and all that un-natural stuff
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • 8oz of tomato sauce
  • 1 8oz can of Rotel with green chilis
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 medium-sized can of hominy, drained–I think these were around 14-15oz.
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Optional: sour cream, shredded cheese, and lime juice to top off. You can also add in more vegetables like celery, corn, black beans, etc. Just increase your simmer time until all the vegetables are fully cooked.

Directions:
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  • Heat oil in large pot on medium heat. Stir in sausage, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.
  • Stir in broth, tomato sauce, Rotel, and spices. Bring to a boil on high heat and then cover and reduce to a low heat. Simmer for about 20 mins.
  • Add in hominy. Cover and simmer for about another 10-15 mins until hominy is soft.
  • Finish off by adding fresh cilantro and any other optional toppings that you prefer.
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Love from, Amy.