Plantain Chips 3 Ways and of course more running stories!

Plantainchips1Hi folks!  How’s your day going?  Mine is just fine.  Rainy, humid and dreary but I like it anyway.  I’m getting ready to go on a girls trip!  That’s how this recipe was born.  I told you I’m on this Paleo challenge with my Crossfit peeps.  I’m taking it seriously.  Which means I can’t pull over to gas stations and buy peanut M&M’s.  Damn.  So, I made my own plantain chips.  They turned out really well!  They are super crunchy which means they need guacamole really.  I have here plain, feta and “cool ranch.”  They are going to be great for the road!  The best part is I bought the plantains at Aldi for $0.50 a piece.  Score!

So my girls trip??  My mom, sista and I are headed to Oklahoma City to watch some buddies run in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and Half Marathon.  One particular is running her first marathon.  I’m going equipped with signs and cowbells to cheer them on.  My awesome cousin just happens to live near there so she is coming as well.  We are going to take on the town.  I’m not running so I get to stay up past 8:30 and even walk around as much as I want.  I know, crazy talk.  I have new outfits and everything.  Look at me go!  I’ll take lots of pictures.  I guarantee you though the very best pictures will be of my friends at mile 23.  Hehehe.  Blackmail.

My sista is also preparing for her first half marathon next weekend so we will get in some miles together.  I’m excited about that.  I’m definitely out of the little running funk I got in a couple of months ago.  I want to just run all of the time!   

Lisa is back!  I have the best buddies I tall ya!

Lisa is back! I have the best buddies I tall ya!

So back up to this morning.  Guess what?  Remember my friend with the broken leg?  Well, she came back for her first 5@5!  (That’s 5 miles at 5am.)  My little group is my family and having her gone is like missing one of those family members.  Especially her because she is even more passionate about running than I am I think.  I know that it killed her to be out!  It was wet, humid and hot but we didn’t even notice.  We were all happy. 

After the run we got to chat with some of the Boston team.  Man they are so cool.  We heard a few stories from the race but mostly they were encouraging us!  I am fully aware that my mental game holds me back a little.  I assume the worst in myself.  I got a pep talk from Coach and another team member about believing in our goals and training for them.  Hmmm, I get the feeling Coach is about to whip us into shape.  That’s ok.  Bring it!  GASP!  I just said that on the internet.

Well, folks I need to go prepare for my departure.  That means pack the offspring up and send them off, try on a bunch of new outfits, pretend like I’m cleaning the house, and most importantly get all of my road trip food together.  One the menu you ask? I’m pretending like you asked anyway. Plantain chips (duh), pistachios, almonds, oranges, roasted beets (I know, I know) and probably a couple of boiled eggs.  I’ve found out the hard way as long as I’m not hungry I can resist even the best food temptation.  We all know hangry mommy is a bad deal.

Have a great weekend and awesome luck to those running in OKC this weekend!

 

Plantain Chips 3 Ways - Plain, Feta and "Cool Ranch"
3 different ways to prepare crunchy, salty plantain chips.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 plantains peeled and sliced thin.
  2. 1.25 tsp. salt
  3. 2 tbsp. crumbled feta
  4. 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  5. 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  6. 1/8 tsp. dill weed
  7. pinch of black pepper
  8. 3 tbsp. avocado oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
  3. Divide sliced plantains into three different zipper storage bags.
  4. Add 1 tbsp. of avocado oil into each bag and toss to coat evenly.
  5. For the Plain chips add 1 tsp. of salt and toss to coat.
  6. For the "Cool Ranch" chips add 1/4 tsp. salt and the garlic powder, onion powder, dill weed and black pepper. Toss to coat evenly.
  7. Lay all of the plantain chips out on the baking sheets evenly.
  8. For the Feta chips spoon some feta onto each chip.
  9. Bake for approximately 30 mins. Watch closely. Depending on the thickness and evenness you may need to remove some before others. Careful not to burn.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Balsamic Glazed Prosciutto Bites

 

ProcuittoBite1Hi guys!  Did you miss me?  I sure missed you!  I did have a super fun Thanksgiving break.  It’s over now and we are all back to the grind I suppose.  Tonight I have to gather the kids and put up the Christmas tree.  I’m not a scrooge.  I like Christmas well enough.  Some parts of it make me crazy though.  Putting up the tree with three littles is one of them.  Too many hands, the branches are itchy, it’s usually not that pretty…  Anyway, I’ll take some pictures and share my experience.  Don’t judge my tree. 

1000mileMeandDawnSo back to the details of my Thanksgiving break, I hit the 1,000 miles ran milestone!  Yay!  Earlier in the year I thought I might could do it but I started obsessing, got a little intense and got hurt.  So, I ignored that little goal until last week when I realized I was going to make it Thanksgiving morning.  The cool part is, my friend Dawn was with me when I hit my goal of 750 last year and she was there again this year.  I thought it was cool anyway.  A large number of my running buddies do run over 1,000 miles in a year but this was the first for me and man I am excited!

My sweet Mom and I and my crazy kiddos stuffing their faces.

My sweet Mom and I and my crazy kiddos stuffing their faces.

After my run I spent Thanksgiving with the family.  Part of it in Rockwall and part of it in my hometown of Marshall.  I saw on Instagram some of the Paleo people I follow stayed the course and had a Paleo Thanksgiving dinner.  Well, this girl did not.  I told you when I started this blog that I am a real person and I’m going to be truthful.  I ate like a girl smack in the middle of marathon training.  Or, I ate like a grown man who was being starved the last three months.  Either way, you get the point.  Like I have said before, I “cheat” sometimes.  However, when I say I am back at it now I am.  Now, I have to deal with a sugar craving that will take a week or so to go away.  Everyday is a new day.  If you messed up, unintentional or not, start over.  Easy as pie…oh wait.

On to my little recipe for today.  I am planning on taking these to a Christmas party I have coming up.  It’s prosciutto wrapped avocado and feta with a balsamic glaze.  Fancy huh?  I told you I am back to the grind.  I’m finishing up those waffles to post for you as well and some meatballs I almost have ready.  Yum. 

Balsamic Glazed Prosciutto Bites
Yields 24
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 avocado
  2. 6 slices of prosciutto
  3. 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  4. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  6. 1/2 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  3. Slice avocado in half remove seed and slice avocado in skin horizontal and vertical.
  4. Use a spoon to remove avocado chunks as neatly as possible. You should get about 12 pieces per half.
  5. Slice prosciutto into quarters.
  6. Lay out 1 quarter of prosciutto, top with one avocado chunk and top with 1/2 tsp of feta.
  7. Wrap prosciutto around avocado and feta and set it on cookie sheet.
  8. Repeat until all avocado is wrapped.
  9. In a small bowl mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pepper together.
  10. Spoon mixture over bites. Make sure to continue mixing as you are spooning.
  11. Bake for 8 minutes.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

 

Roasted Beet and Apple Salad

 

BeetAppleSalad2Man, I am in a mood today.  You know how I told you I was sick last week?  Well, it struck again.  I felt it coming on.  Yesterday I wanted to sit around all day drinking coffee and watching TV.  I didn’t do that but it would have been nice.  Right?  Well, today when my alarm went off at 3:30am I knew I should have stayed in bed.  You know as well as I do, I am one of those stubborn runners.  I got up, got dressed (not well enough because I was cold) and set out for 8 miles.  We had a new girl coming!  I really wanted to meet her!  I’m sure she thought I was a crazy person or just a wuss because I refused to run a hill on the route and I cut the run short at 5 miles.  I basically told them the hell with this, I’m going home.

I DO NOT get up at 3:30am to do a PART of my workout.  Instead of being in our fun little group selfie I took this sad/pissy face selfie in the car.  SadFaceOkay, okay enough feeling sorry for myself.  I got the boys to school, went for a delicious almond butter smoothie and headed to the doc to get two shots and a Z-pack.  I appreciate all of the natural remedy suggestions but I’m over this.  My 18 mile run this weekend will be a good one dang it!TheBarSmoothie

Now, back to happy Summer!  I get to go shopping tonight for a Christmas dress for the hubbies company party.  Yay!  One night a year I get to change out of my sports bra and wear something sexy for the hubby.  Too much information to share?  Oh well, I’m in a mood remember?  I’m still excited to try on dresses.  Maybe I’ll even take pictures for a sneak peak!  Maybe…

So on to the recipe at hand.  If you haven’t tried beets or think you don’t like them, try this.  They are so good roasted.  My kids devour them.  One day I actually ate 7 beets in one sitting because I could not get enough.  This is also super easy but looks fancy enough if you are trying to impress a dinner guest.  And hey, it is a plate of super foods!  You can’t go wrong!

Are you as whiney as me when you are sick?

Let me know what you think of the recipe.

 

Roasted Beet and Apple Salad
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 red beets
  2. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1 large apple cored
  4. 1 tbsp. butter
  5. Feta (optional)
For the Dressing
  1. 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  2. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1 tbsp. honey
  4. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Scrub beets and remove stem and root.
  3. Coat beets with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  4. Roast covered for about 45 minutes until tender.
  5. When beets have cooled you can easily remove the rest of the skin with a knife. Slice beets about a 1/4 inch thickness.
  6. While beets are cooking, slice cored apple into same thickness.
  7. Heat butter over medium heat in a skillet.
  8. Cook apples in butter until slightly browned and tender.
  9. In the meantime whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
  10. When beets and apples have cooled, layer them over a spring mix salad and top with dressing.
  11. Sprinkle feta on top if using.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Simple Fruit Salad and How to Save Some Bucks

 

fruitsalad2

I feel like this week has been one of those weeks that I’ve been running around doing a bunch of stuff, but not actually doing anything.  Do you have those days?  Probably not weeks huh.  Well, don’t judge.  All of my kids are alive and my house doesn’t meet the hoarder standards, so there.

This is the easiest recipe ever.  I know people like to say that, but this is for real.  It’s fruit with lime and mint.  The lime gives it that extra fancy flavor without taking up all of your time.  I wanted to post this today because it leads into what I feel like chatting about.  Money.  This recipe was born because I had to bring food to a bible study and I had no money.  I bought the cheapest fruit they had in the store that day. 

A couple of you have asked how to eat Paleo on a budget.  Let me start by saying that healthy food is expensive.  There’s really no way to get around that except make it a priority and change your mindset.  It’s not as expensive as the medical bills when you jack yourself up from eating a lot of crap.  Just saying.

There are however, ways to help cut some of those costs. 

  • I determine what I am going to cook by what is on sale.  It sounds simple enough, but I know I used to meal plan, then go to the store and buy those things.  Now, I go to the store, buy the produce and meat that is on sale, then go home and have fun with what I have.  I’m using the word meal plan because I’m getting fancy again, when really I eat a salad everyday for lunch and meat and veggies for dinner.  

 

  • You’ve all done some Paleo research by now and you know that you should be eating grass-fed beef, pastured pork and free range chicken and eggs.  Well, my advice is if you don’t have those things, don’t let it stop you from eating this way.  However, always be on the lookout.  I’m finding more and more in regular grocery stores and Costco is kind of becoming a rock star when it comes to carrying good stuff.  If you can’t afford it every time, then do it every other.  You get my drift.

 

  • Look at other ways besides the grocery store to buy the meat.  Google farms in your area and ask around.  People are raising animals.  You will come out much cheaper buying in bulk than by the pound.  I will say this does take time, but when you do find something affordable it will make your day!  You will be bragging about your beef in the freezer too!  And man does it taste better.

 

  • Compare your grocery stores.  I know that also sounds too simple but if you open your eyes you will be surprised.  Just because it is at Costco in bulk, that does not mean it is cheaper. 

 

  • My last little two cents.  Do not throw away food unless it will make you die.  Eat those leftovers.  Eat them as breakfast or snack or whatever.  My dear hubby knows, if there is already cooked food in the fridge we are eating it.  It hurts me to throw away stuff I worked so hard to get my hands on.

Hopefully this helps.  I’m sure some of you are made of money, but me not so much. 

Any other tips you guys can share with me?

Simple Fruit Salad
Budget friendly Paleo fruit salad
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lbs. red seedless grapes, halved
  2. 1 fresh pineapple cubed
  3. 1 cantaloupe cubed
  4. handful of mint leaves julienned
  5. Juice of two limes
Instructions
  1. Add all fruit to a large bowl.
  2. Squeeze lime juice over fruit and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Fold in mint leaves.
  4. Garnish with whole mint leaves (optional)
Notes
  1. Any fruit could be substituted.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

 

Bacon Selfie!

I’m in a goofy mood today.  Probably because it is Halloween and the kids have acted cracked out all week, or because I took a rest day yesterday and I’m not totally beat down.  I went to Crossfit this morning and was pleasantly surprised by the WOD (workout of the day).  It was:

21-15-9 Thrusters 95/65#

60-30-15 Double Unders

Since I run so dang much its making me stink at the heavy stuff in Crossfit.  Running burns away my muscle.  That’s ok though, after January I’ll make a little switch back…I’ll save that story for another post.  Anyway, double unders are something I can actually do well.  I was on a competitive jump rope team in 5th grade and it turns out muscle memory is a real thing.  Jealous right?  Thrusters I’m not so great at.  I did 55#.  I meant to take some sweet Crossfit pictures for you this morning but I forgot.  BaconSelfieInstead, the kids and I took bacon selfies.  You do that right?

Tomorrow I have another 18 mile run planned.  Maybe not for everyone, but for me it takes some preparing.  Well, if I want the run to be fun as opposed to a trudge through hell.  Distance running can be a little tricky with the Paleo diet.  (Since Mark would call it chronic cardio and tell me to stop it.  Yeah, no.)  By default its a pretty low carb way of eating.  I know I need a few extra carbs to keep from running out of gas.  However, that does not mean I get to have pasta and bagels…that would be a whole other gas issue.  No, let me introduce white rice and the sweet potato. 

Sweet potatoes easy enough.  We all know they are super good for us and we should be eating those delicious little things.  White rice is something totally different.  I’ve actually hesitated to bring it up because it is not Paleo.  However, it is not toxic like other grain.  It’s literally a good source of carbs.  Rice has been buzzing around my Paleo buddies for a few weeks so I thought I would talk about it.  I eat rice and sweet potatoes to prepare for my long runs and races.  Not a ton though.  If my run is on Saturday, I’ll start upping my carbs on Wednesday.  Meaning I’ll take in about 20 extra carbs a day with the rice or potatoes.  For example, here’s a little picture of my breakfast today.  There’s only one piece of bacon because I was taking selfies with the other two.  That’s about a quarter cup of rice.baconandrice

The reason I hesitate to talk about this, if you are trying to lose weight and are not seriously using glycogen you should not be eating it.  However, if you do, it won’t kill you and if you are running or doing some other form of cardio, then know it is a good source of carbs. 

Man! To be in a goofy mood I got a little heavy.  I don’t have a “real” recipe posted for you today, but I have these little gems.  Pumpkin seeds! PumpkinSeeds I roasted a ton of them last night and they must have crack in them too because I can’t stay away.  So good.  Basically you get the gooey stuff off of them, spread them on a cookie sheet with olive oil and seasoning and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.  Really just watch them and try some along the way until they are done like you prefer.  I used a “house” seasoning that I have but you can use anything you like.  Probably not crack though. 

FOLKS!  We are still staying away from the candy right??  Right.

 

 

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

 StuffedPeppers1My second cranberry recipe!  Okay so they aren’t stuffed with fall, but they are stuffed with goodness.  They make you think of the fall.  You can only cook them in the fall as well because good luck finding fresh cranberries any other time.  I am loving those cute little bell peppers too.  My kids think it’s cool they get a whole pepper to themselves.  My kids are obviously very cool.

Last night we had our annual costume run with the running club.  Something we didn’t think through very well is the new location of the running club.  It is in a very busy part of Rockwall.  Across the street from Chick-fil-A and Target if you know what I mean.   Well, at 5am no big deal.  At 7pm with a bunch of candy hyped kids, big deal.  Cars were zooming past us.  Luckily, we were all born with brains in our head so we each grabbed a kid’s hand, walked a couple of blocks and walked back.  RunningVampireWe had a lot of fun.  I mean, who couldn’t with this rogue bunch of characters?  I’m a running vampire by the way…get it?  Only runs in the dark?  I know, I’m obviously very cool too.

This week is Halloween week.  It’s super fun to dress up but all of that candy in my house is a beat down.  Anyone else feel that way?  I feel like I do an ok job staying away from stuff I shouldn’t eat.  I don’t even like candy that much.  When it is staring me in the face and luring me with it’s mean little packaging I want to cave!  Let’s all be in this together!  Stand against that mess!  Maybe have one…little one, then get away.  We can think of each other being strong right?  Or, we can just picture them dripping in hydrogenated oil and sugar (which they are) crouched in the corner ready to kill us (which they are).  Yep, that’s what I’m going with.

 

Fall Stuffed Peppers
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. ground breakfast sausage
  2. 1/2 onion diced small
  3. 1 granny smith apple diced small
  4. 1 cup fresh cranberries
  5. 2 1/2 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  6. 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. 1 package mini bell peppers tops off and seeds out
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Line cookie sheet with foil. Place cranberries on cookie sheet and mix with salt and pepper and 1/2 tbsp. of maple syrup.
  3. Roast for about 10 minutes until they burst.
  4. Meanwhile, brown breakfast sausage with diced onion.
  5. About halfway through cooking the meat, add the apples.
  6. When meat is cooked through add the walnuts, roasted cranberries and 2 tbsp. of maple syrup.
  7. Cook for another 5 minutes to let ingredients incorporate and cranberries sweeten.
  8. Once meat mixture is done use a teaspoon to stuff tightly into bell peppers.
  9. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes until peppers start to blister.
Notes
  1. The level of spiciness in the sausage is up to you. Mine comes from a pastured pig that was processed for us, it is mildly spicy but nothing crazy.
  2. Also, both times I've made this I had filling left over. It's a great treat for breakfast.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/