Sunday, January 5, 2014

2014 - New Year, New us!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I have set new years resolutions for many years and for the last few years, I have set the same resolution: 
- To eat healthier and live a healthier lifestyle (to help us lose weight)
This resolution is mainly geared toward a healthier lifestyle because T and I feel strongly that the food we put into our bodies affects all aspects of our life now (eating this way has cleared up our skin) and will affect our future selves (lowers our risk for many diseases: heart, diabetes, etc.)
I love to cook... and bake. The baking part is an issue because I also have a sweet tooth so I will be learning how to substitute the sugary, buttery sweets with naturally sweet foods.
Since I love cooking, I have found all sorts of recipes to make that taste good and are mostly healthy! 
I have researched a lot about the Paleo diet. Although I would LoVe to follow that diet exactly, it's expensive, so I have used it as a base for the way we eat: lean meats, lots of veggies, moderate in fruits and very little refined sugars and grains. 
I wanted to document the meals I make because it keeps me in check and reminds me the meals we liked and didn't like so much. Hopefully this can give others ideas because if you're like me, some of the hardest things as a wife is the dinner dilemma
Below is our spread for this evening. I go all out on Sunday's because I have time and it was always a meal that growing up, was a special meal with foods we wouldn't normally eat during the week. 
Today's meal was:
-marinated tri-tip steak from Costco, skewered with onions and peppers and grilled
-organic 50/50 salad mix with roma tomatoes, chopped almonds and dried cranberries
-fruit plate with grapes, apples and oranges

I completely splurged on the steak for this week and I've done this recipe many times with skewered boneless, skinless chicken breasts marinaded in a teriyaki sauce. I marinated the meat only, then chopped the veggies fresh and skewered.
 The marinade I used today is called Savory Garlic Marinaded Steaks I found here at I love that site because I also read the comments and suggestions of others who have made the recipe and I usually tweak it to our liking. I made the marinade early this morning and threw the steaks in the fridge to marinate all day.
I grilled the meat and veggie skewers for a few minutes on each side only turning them once. Since we live in sunny AZ, the weather permits us to grill all year long. YAY!

The fruit I find is usually whatever is in season and was on sale that week. Sprouts had all three of these items on sale this week! EXCITING!

We love our greens and the 50/50 mix of salad. The roma tomatoes were also on sale at sprouts and we eat the salad with a light raspberry vinaigrette dressing. I like to add "yummies" to the salad such as the almonds and dried cranberries. I buy whole almonds (because it's cheaper to buy them whole than already chopped) and use my food processor to chop a bunch then store the leftovers in the freezer.

All-in-all, a very successful meal. My hubby kept raving about how much he loved it. I think anything with a good red meat he always appreciates.
We love leftovers- so I always try to make enough dinner to allow for another meal for both of us to take to work the next day. Sometimes, I don't plan correctly... or T was more hungry than I thought and we don't have leftovers for the next day at work. This is a problem because we are trying not to eat out and tuna gets old fast. To hopefully prevent this problem, I also try to take Sunday's to make another meal to store in the fridge or freezer for lunches or a weekday that I get home from work late and don't want to make dinner. 
Today I made a bunch Chimichangas to freeze for a later time. I placed 6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts (from Costco) in the crockpot with chicken stock and water. Cooked for 6 hours on low. I then shredded the chicken, then heated a large saucepan to medium-high and sautéed diced onion, minced garlic, threw the chicken in with a bunch of fresh salsa (I'd say about 3 cups), 1-2 Tbls chili powder, few pinches of cumin and salt. Stirred it well and made a bunch of those awesome and delicious raw tortillas also found at Costco and spread a tablespoon of refried beans and the chicken mixture in the tortilla. I then baked it at 425 F for 15 min, flipped them and another 15 min. Nice and crispy!

*Note: I used to also add cheese on top of the mixture before folding them up but since we are trying to stay away from cheese/dairy, I omitted the cheese. It's very good with cheese though!

I will be posting our happenings and other meals I make and enjoyed with the recipes. Any questions, let me know! 


Matthew & Laura said...

YUMMY KENZ!!! You are so talented and awesome. I enjoy cooking but am not very good at being creative. The picture of your dinner tonight made my mouth water... *drool Love you!

Floyd Family said...

You are amazing! You did not get that talent from ME!? Your Dad is proud of your cooking abilities AND your creativity (I think you get that part from me..) Love you beyond measure!