I’ve got a bad case of the winter blues. I’ve done a lot of traveling over the last week, and my schedule is just now getting back to normal.
I went to Walmart on my lunch break yesterday to pick up some staple items to get us through to the weekend. I always find it challenging to find good organic produce and pantry items at my rural Walmart, but yesterday I was able to find a handful of things to whip up a new spinoff of my mom’s famous Cheesy Potato Soup.
I have been craving comfort food. Everything cheesy and warm since the weather has been so rainy and cold lately. I decided to make a keto version of Cheesy Potato Soup. Instead of using potato, I decided on cauliflower because it has a lower carbohydrate count and still has the chunky consistency of potato.
What you need:
2 Tablespoons grass-fed butter
1 head of organic cauliflower, chopped
1 organic onion, diced
2 organic carrots, diced
3 stalks of organic celery, diced
2 cups chicken bone broth
1/2 block organic cream cheese, cubed
2 cups organic cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup organic heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish (optional)
Sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Prep your veggies by chopping up the cauliflower and dicing the onion, carrot and celery into similar size pieces. Pre-heat a pot on medium-high heat. Add the butter and melt.
Add the onion, celery and carrot. Season with salt and pepper Cook until onions are translucent, or about 5-7 minutes. Add the cauliflower, chicken bone broth and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted throughout. Add in the heavy cream and cheddar cheese. Check for seasoning, and add salt, pepper and garlic powder until you get it right for your tastebuds.
Top with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream, if you like.
This dish is amazing. Not tooting my own horn, but it just is. I was in a complete state of starvation after a very stressful day of waiting at the hospital for Brad’s latest check-up when I started crafting this dish in my head.
Before leaving to go to the clinic for the check-up, I had set out ground chicken to thaw. I had all the intentions of making soup in the Instapot. But after two and half hours at the hospital and another hour out running errands, I was hungry and dreaming of bigger and better things than a measly ole soup.
Which is exactly how this gorgeousness was born. Straight out of my hungry mind palace. Even in the state of my hunger, I knew it would be totally worth it. I knew I had to have the comfort food of pasta and the savory meatballs and the veggie loaded ragu.
Now, bare with me. It kinda has a lot of steps. And I didn’t really write anything down measurement-wise. It was completely intuitive cooking at its finest. So take these directions and ingredient list with a grain of salt. Use what you have on hand, and I’m sure you will end up with something just as tasty.
For the chicken meatballs:
1 lb. ground chicken
2 Tablespoons almond flour, to help bind
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes, to taste
Combine all ingredients. Form into meatballs, and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
For the Ragu:
1 small eggplant, diced
1 leek, sliced
1 bunch dinosaur kale, chopped
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used a Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Tomato Sauce)
Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
Heat a large pot with avocado oil. Add in the leek, eggplant and kale. Sauté until eggplant is soft and the kale and leek are wilted. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add in the tomato sauce. Taste. Season again until you get it to your likely. Cover and simmer while the meatballs bake.
Once the meatballs are cooked, add them to the ragu. Simmer an additional 5-10 minutes so the flavors of the meatballs and sauce combine.
While your sauce simmers, heat a pot of water to cook the noodles. I used Cappello’s fettuccine noodles because they are the best pasta substitute I’ve ever found. Cook noodles according to the package directions. I actually undercooked mine so they could soak up some of the sauce.
The outcome was the gorgeous, delicious veggie-heavy sauce with the added bonus of savory, juicy chicken meatballs and perfectly cooked pasta.
Mexican food is my jam. I’m sure I could live off of it, if I had to choose just one thing to eat for the rest of my life.
Over the weekend, I shared what I bought at the grocery store. Now, I want to share how I’ve been using some of those items so you can get some ideas on how cooking can be fun and full of flavor.
Added bonus…it’s all good for you.
These enchiladas were no joke. We ate the whole pan. But don’t judge. It was a brownie sized pan.
What you need:
2 chicken breasts
1 jar of your favorite salsa
1 bag of Horizon Organic Mexican Cheese blend
1 pack of Siete Foods Almond Flour tortillas
5 green onions, sliced
Fennel and Fire Fajita Seasoning, to taste
First, you want to throw the chicken breasts in the Instapot with 3/4 cup of water and some fajita seasoning. Set to 10 minutes on manual, and let the pot do all the work for you. Once it is ready, quick-release the pressure and shred the chicken. I shred chicken with a hand mixer. It’s so easy and mess free.
Now you assemble the casserole. Salsa, chicken, green onion and seasoning on the bottom. Add a layer of tortillas. Then continue layering chicken, cheese, seasoning, onions, salsa, tortillas until you run out of chicken. Top with the final layer of tortillas, cheese and salsa.
Bake covered with foil in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove move foil and back for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with sour cream and guacamole.
It was absolutely delicious. I usually try to make enough for leftovers, but this little guy didn’t make it. We ate the whole thing. If you are cooking for more than two people, just double the ingredients and use a 9×13 pan. You may have to bake it for a longer time period, but the outcome should be just as good.
2018 was a tough year for me. I lost my favorite kid in the entire world to Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, and my boyfriend was diagnosed with a malignant neuroendocrine tumor (NET) in his small intestine, which thankfully they removed right before Christmas.
I can’t help but think that these life-shaping moments mean something more, and I personally have felt very called, convicted to share my knowledge on how to help people make safer, better choices.
The mantra “Do No Harm” comes into play here. We are hardwired to go with the flow, the masses. Society can make choices that we automatically deem ok because “other people are doing it.” I remember in elementary school getting in trouble for doing something against the rules, and my teacher saying something like if everyone jumped off the roof, would you do it, too?
We have to stop “jumping off the roof” when it comes to our health and wellbeing. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it the best choice for each of us.
I love the idea of exploring this whole idea of don’t just go with the flow when it comes to your health. It’s a loaded topic. And I know people will get testy on the subject because we want to believe that we are doing the right thing. Health and wellness is just a touchy topic because everyone choices to live differently.
But let’s unpack this idea. For fun. Particularly for the endocrine system.
With Brad’s cancer specifically affecting hormone cells in his small intestine, changing his diet won’t be enough on the preventative side we can control. There are so many things that we use on our bodies, breathe in through the air and eat that can effect our endocrine system. So diet is only one of many things.
Well, you can’t control what chemical makeup of the air we breathe.
But you can get a home air filtration system or diffuse clarifying essential oils or use safer cleaning products. I started looking into household cleaners once I signed on with Beautycounter and started learning about all the ways our endocrine system can be affected by what we put on our bodies. That translated quickly into changing our everyday cleaners and detergents.
I realize this is a heavy subject, but we need to be talking about it as consumers. We need to be voting with our dollars for company’s that put people first, instead of profit. This is something I’m deeply passionate about, and it is so very important as we move forward.
The goal is not to have everyone I know using Beautycounter or brands I love (though I would love it if you found Beautycounter to be your thing that works for you).
The goal is to get you thinking about things in a new way.
To not jump off a roof just because everyone else is doing it.
To take your health and wellness seriously.
Because, y’all, we only get this one life.
What do you want to do this year to take control of your health and wellness? What small changes can you make? What things can you get rid of? How can I help you? Because I truly feel called to help you take the steps to make a choice.
I spent the weekend reflecting on 2018 and setting goals for 2019. What a year it’s been.
I always love looking at everyone’s “Best Nine” at the end of the year. It’s so fun to go back and look at what consumed your life. Mine was consumed with travel, gardening, Annie Mae and B. Several things happened that I wish hadn’t, but overall I found goodness and a little grace.
I completed my 2019 Powersheets prep work on Saturday morning. This is the first year I’ve tried to set intentional goals at the beginning of the year. Last year, I started with Powersheets around June. I love the prep work because it helps you really nail down what you want to accomplish for the year, and it breaks your main goals down into smaller, easier-to-digest goals to work toward monthly, weekly and daily.
One of my main goals is to establish and maintain healthy eating practices and a true fitness routine. So I wanted to share with you what I will be doing to reach that goal starting tomorrow.
Establish a Meditation Practice
I’ve used the Calm app off and on for a couple of months to see if it is something that will help me. Quieting my mind is basically non-existent. My brain literally never shuts off. It can, at times, be awful. So I did some research about stress management, and guided meditation is one of the best ways to manage stress.
Tomorrow, I will start a daily mediation practice. Whether it’s in the morning or before bed will depend on my mood, but my goal is to mediate in the morning before leaving for work. I will also use the Sleep Stories or sleep mediations to help me fall asleep at night, instead of using the TV. At least, that is a long term goal for this practice. I’m shooting for 5-10 minutes per day, and then maybe longer periods on the weekends, which will lead into the second part of this overall goal.
A Daily Yoga Practice
After lots of research and looking at my daily schedule, yoga seems like the easiest thing to work into my life at this time. Plus, there are added benefits of stress management for combining a mediation and yoga practice. I know it sounds pretty granola, but that’s just where I am right now.
I’ve used Asana Rebel off and on, and I have a BOD account. So the plan is to use them, even if it is only 5 or ten minutes. Just move my body each day. Ideally, I would like this to be 10-20 minutes on the mat with longer sessions on the weekends. And I plan to use the Calm app directly after my yoga practice.
My intention for the new year is centered around gratitude, and my intention for my yoga practice is focused on being awake.
I would love to know what your goals are for 2019. Please share.