Cauliflower “Mac” & Cheese

Shopping List

  • 1 Head of cauliflower
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Almond Flower
  • Heavy Whipping Cream or Half and Half
  • Cream Cheese
  • Garlic
  • Oil

Let’s Get Started

My secret to the amazing taste to this dish? Roasting the cauliflower in the oven with plenty of garlic!

Preheat oven to 400¬į. Chop cauliflower in to bite size pieces. Place in large bowl. Drizzle oil over cauliflower and heap teaspoons or tablespoons of garlic to your liking in bowl. Gently stir until evenly coated.

Spread on baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turning about half way point.

Prepare the delicious cheesy sauce – In a large pan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in the almond flour (regular flour is perfectly fine, however to keep this low carb use almond flour).

Gradually whisk in the heavy whipping cream (or half and half, whole milk). Whisk constantly until sauce becomes bubbly and thickens. Add cream cheese and dijon.

Add 1 cup of cheese. If sauce is too thick, thin it out with cream.

Gently toss the cauliflower in to the cheese mixture until well combined. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Dinner is Served

Cauliflower 'Mac' and Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A low carb alternative to a classic favorite comfort food.

Source: livingohsopeachy.com

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 Cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
  • 2 TBSP Almond Flower
  • Heavy Whipping Cream or Half and Half (Almond Milk)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400¬į to roast the cauliflower.
  2. Chop cauliflower and toss with oil and garlic, spread on baking pan.
  3. Roast 20 minutes, turning half way through.
  4. Heat pan on medium heat, melt butter. Add flour, whisk to combine.
  5. Gradually add and whisk cream constantly until well combined.
  6. Add cream cheese, dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Add 1 cup of the cheese. Add more cream or almond milk if too thick.
  8. Add roasted cauliflower, stir until well coated.
  9. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.
  10. Serve and enjoy.

Steak & Cauliflower Casserole

When you think of a casserole dish, you think of a protein and pasta, amirite? I usually do, too. Until for a health concern I needed to reduce the amount of carbs and sugars. But what would I do without all my creamy, cheesy pasta favorites?

Enter my new favorite vegetable friend – the Cauliflower. This little gem is so versatile! It can be a substitute for rice, potatoes and did you even know…pasta?! That’s right – it tastefully replaces pasta in this dish. You won’t even know it.

Shopping List

  • 1 pound Shaved Beef Steak (found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 jar Alfredo sauce
  • 8 oz. crimini mushrooms
  • 1 package or jar of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Baby Spinach
  • Italian Cheese

Gather The Ingredients

Let’s Get Started

Prepare the cauliflower for roasting. Chop up into bite size pieces. In a bowl, mix with oil, salt and garlic. Spread on baking sheet and place in pre-heated oven. Cauliflower should be lightly browned and tender.

I like to season the beef with steak seasoning. Cook up meat while cauliflower is roasting.

After the cauliflower is roasted and the meat is browned, mix everything in a bowl. Spread in a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Dinner is Served

I just love dishes you can slide out of the oven and take to the table so you can enjoy catching up with the family.

Steak and cauliflower casserole

This dish would go great with a salad, or is fulfilling all on it’s own.

Enjoy!

Steak and Cauliflower Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A low carb comfort food casserole.

Source: livingohsopeachy.com

Ingredients

  • 1 Package shaved beef (Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 Cups Spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Italian cheese
  • 1.5 oz sun dried tomatoes, about 1/2 package or jar
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms (baby bella), sliced
  • 1 large cauliflower head, chopped into bite sizes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, milk or half and half
  • 16 oz jar of Alfredo sauce

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400¬į.
  2. Chop Cauliflower into bite size pieces.
  3. Mix cauliflower in bowl with a swirl of oil, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp garlic.
  4. Roast cauliflower in oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on size of cuts.
  5. Turn oven down to 375¬į.
  6. In small batches in skillet, brown the steak.
  7. Combine everything in bowl.
  8. Spread in 11×13 baking dish.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, until dish is bubbly.

 

Cheesy Chicken Verde Enchilada Skillet

Who doesn’t love dinner done quick? With busy schedules and tired end-of- the-day bodies..this dish will go together quick and easy and be oh-so-pleasy for the family! And it can be done in one skillet.

Shopping List

  • Grilled Chicken Strips – Trader Joe’s or Costco is a great source
  • Verde sauce – either a salsa or enchilada sauce will do
  • Chicken Stock – this recipe doesn’t call for much, so I prefer Better than Bouillion
  • Can of diced green chiles
  • Tortillas – Regular work just fine, I prefer for my WOE (way of eating) to select a low carb version. I find this among the regular tortillas at chain stores such as Safeway
  • Sour Cream – I prefer full fat
  • Cheese – so many options – use a Mexi Cheese, Queso or Monterey Jack
  • Optionals: Cilantro, can of green chiles, tomatoes, avocado

Gather Your Ingredients

Let’s Get Started

Warm your skillet to medium-high heat. Add chicken stock and green chiles. Add the verde (or enchilada sauce). Stir and bring to a simmer. Add sour cream and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, while your sauce is simmering, cut your tortillas. I use a pizza cutter. Cut into strips vertically then turn and cut horizontally until you have bite size squares.

When sauce has thickened slightly, add the chicken. Stir to coat.

Add in half the cheese and the tortillas. Stir the mixture and simmer until heated through.

Top with remaining cheese just before serving and removing from heat. Heat cheese just until it begins to melt, then remove from heat. Top with cilantro and serve!

Dinner is Served

A great side dish is Mexican Rice or my personal favorite, Mexican Cauliflower Rice.

Cheesy Verde Chicken Enchilada Skillet

A quick and easy weekday shortcut dinner for a Mexican favorite

Source: livingohsopeachy.com

Ingredients

3/4 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Cup Salsa Verde from Trader Joe’s (or Verde Enchilada sauce)
1 Can diced green chiles
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 Cups grilled chicken, sliced into bite size
4 taco size tortillas – Try a Low Carb Brand like LaTortilla Factory
1 1/2 Cups Shredded Cheese
Optional Toppings:
-Cilantro
-Avocado
-Diced Tomatos

Directions

  1. Heat Skillet to medium high heat.
  2. Add chicken stock, verde sauce, green chiles then sour cream.
    Stir and bring to simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Cut tortillas with pizza slicer while simmering.
  4. Add Chicken after sauce has thickened slightly.
  5. Stir in half the cheese and tortilla strips.
  6. Stir to heat through and cheese is melted.
  7. Right before serving, add remaining cheese on top and heat just until cheese is melted on top.
  8. Top with cilantro and additional toppings you prefer.

Valentine’s Day Angel Food Cake & Strawberry Skewers

My girls just love strawberries. They can gobble them up all year long. And isn’t a treat that they are shaped just like little red hearts? They make for the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day.

Pair strawberries with Angel food cake and it’s like a little slice of heaven. Each time I make an Angel Food cake (which isn’t very often), I always question myself “why don’t I make this more often”. And that is echoed by my two girls. I have no answer for this. Note to self: Make more Angel Food Cake!

Before you dive into a treat of strawberries and Angel Food Cake, let’s make this a little more fun. Let’s make this a portable treat and drizzle chocolate over it. YES!!!

SIMPLE INGREDIENTS – SIMPLE ASSEMBLY

You need 4 things to complete these tasty skewers

  • Skewers
  • Angel Food Cake
  • Strawberries
  • Chocolate

Valentine’s dessert

Can it get any easier? Simply make or buy your Angel Food. I can’t resist making one when I have the time. I’m glad I look at the directions as I tend to forget it requires 3 hours to completely cool. That could really throw timing off if you tend to take these to an evening party and start too late in the day.

Next, you have to let the cake cool. Everybody cools theirs on a Kahl√ļa bottle, right?

How to cool angel food cake

Valentines angel food cake

Isn’t there just something dreamy and magical about Angel Food Cake?

Once your cake is cool, turn upside down and start making your slices. You can get up to four cubes when you slice a nice thick cut. I may or may not eat a few imperfect pieces. Quality control.

So for this set of skewers, I used a pre-made Angel Food Cake from the store. It came in a loaf style and was super easy to cut and assemble. This is a great time saver if you don’t have time to make an Angel Food cake and let it cool (up to 3 hours).

Another tip if you would like a smaller serving, use a smaller piece like a flat popsicle stick. ¬†It’s about half the size and doesn’t require as many strawberries or pieces of angel food cake.

Valentine strawberry skewers

Check out this tip! ¬†Dip a whisk into the melted chocolate the “shake” over your treat while moving hand back and forth and you will end up with lovely drizzles. ¬†Be sure to do this over wax paper not your pretty platter. ¬†The paper will catch all the drizzles, not your platter!

Enjoy these at your next get together!

Simple Tip to Organize Your Closet

I’m not sure about you, but when it comes time to get dressed in the morning, I’m only about half awake. In the closet, everything is a blur. And OK, I’ll admit I’m not winning any awards for putting clothes away. And my family, bless them, tries to also help by putting away my clothes when helping with laundry. So here is it, let me air my (not so dirty) laundry. Here is a peek at my closet getting at it’s worst!

closet organization

But I’m already a grumpy morning person and it makes me more grumpy to search and hunt for the pair of pants or jeans I want to wear. So I had to come up with something that made it easier for putting away my pants so I could easily find them before my morning coffee. And secretly, to help my family when they put away my jeans that I can find them every time I go to the closet, even if I wasn’t the one to put them away.

Probably like you, I have several different pairs of similar colored jeans. When hanging in the closet, they all look the same. Problem is, one is skinny, one is crop and one boot cut. (Or whatever the current fashion that is coming back that I swore I wouldn’t succumb too). I never seem to guess right when selecting the dark denim. Then for some reason, it doesn’t set my mood right for my day. So this system works smoothly to make my morning brighter so I can be a better person to the people I get to encounter and be with the rest of the day. Seems like a little thing, but it’s amazing taking a little simple task and making it more organized can make 0r break a mood.

So I had to make a plan. Off to the craft store I went. On my list was tags, twine and most definitely new hangers. I found just what I was looking for at Michaels. I really like their Recollections Line. (Go to Michaels and search Recollections)

organizing closet

Here is how I organized my pants in my closet.

First, I had to make a list of all my jeans. This also allowed time for me to go through each pair of jeans, try them on, deicide if these are still my fit and style or if they needed to be donated or altered. You can’t tell, from the photo, but I had to bring my phone back for some tunes! I turned on my favorite Spotify playlist for the task. (ahh, ya, I took it back to the early 90’s for this one).

closet organize

 

cabi notes

After my list was complete, I wrote the names of each pair of jeans on each tag. Make sure the tags are all facing the same way so when you’re scanning your closet, you can easily read each tag.

This system works! Like all things getting organized, this takes time in the beginning to get there. But once this simple system is in place, it just works all on it’s own. Looking to put away that pair of jeans from the wash? No need hunt down that random hanger. It’s the one right there. The empty one that you properly labeled. This is an inexpensive and simple solution.¬†And it lends itself into the saying “loving what you have & having what you love”.

Oh So Must Have Apps

Ever notice how much we rely on our smartphone these days from everything to scheduling to organizing to entertaining our lives these days?  Back in the day, we would have to have a separate device, appliance or piece of technology to accomplish our tasks and keep our hobbies in check.

Remember all the gadgets we had to have around us just to keep us on time, organized, up to date on current events and entertained?  This image is just one image that tells the tale of how technology and gadgets have been replaced on one piece that travels in our pocket or hand everywhere we go.

Now we use our smartphones to research, shop, purchase, plan and entertain us from music to audio books. I’ve put together a favorite list of mine that helps keep me entertained and sane. ¬†There are more I could list, but here is my top 10 (in no particular order).

1. Hoopla

Hoopla App

 

 

 

 

Do you have a library account?  If you do, then you need this app!  Hoopla allows library patrons to download or stream media content free of charge!  You can subscribe up to 6 different media sources.  Hoopla provides digital books, audiobooks (my fave!), music and video.

This is such a great go to tool!  For days when I am doing chores, running errands or traveling, I can download a book РI really enjoy the audiobooks Рand escape.

Simply log into your log into your library account and search Hoolpa to see if your library offers this service.  From there follow the set up and log in requirements.  Finally, download the app onto your device and log into your account.  Now you are ready to search books, music audiobooks and videos.  You can borrow up to 10 titles in a month.

Hoopla app audio books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Zinio

Zinio digital magazine

 

 

 

 

Again, I ask – Do you have a library account (if no, why not?!). ¬†The library offers so many free services, especially in this ever changing digital age. ¬†And Zinio is a digital platform to checkout magazines via your local library…for free!

On a weekend getaway or for the days relaxing by the pool, I enjoy catching up on the latest magazines.  The whole range from family fun, Hollywood gossip, and food.

Zinio allows you to check out digital magazines to read from your personal device. I love to save this app for my iPad so I can keep the feel of the larger size, not my smaller screen.  Then I can simply swipe page by page.  And if I want to read up on an article?  I can enlarge it to suit my eyes.  I also screen shot ideas like food or ideas for around the house or for my family.

First you will need to log into your library account.  Search for Zinio to see if your library offers this service.  Set up an account with Zinio.

Important to know:  When you want to search for magazines on Zinio, you will have to search in a web browser, not the app!  Simply log into your Zinio account and you will see a screen similar to this:

zinio magazine subscription

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have access to a drop down menu for different genres your library offers. ¬†You will see large thumbnails of the current magazine cover. ¬†Once you click into a magazine, you will also have access to a few back issues and here you can ‘checkout’ the magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you select check out, you will have an option to stream the magazine or to download it and keep browsing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you are reading to head over and open your Zinio app! ¬†Select the ‘Read’ option and here you magazines will appear. ¬†The new ones will have to be downloaded from the cloud to your device. ¬†You will see the little icon below the magazine. ¬†Click on it and it will take a few minutes to complete the download.

zinio app for magazines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, there is a feature of ‘Shop’ where you can set up subscriptions or purchase magazines from a much larger selection, but I’m much too frugal with my time and money, but it looks like a great service if this is more of your style.

 

 

 

3. Waze

Waze app phone navigation

 

 

 

 

Waze is a community and traffic based navigation app.  Ever take off on your trip, following the navigational directions and next thing you are sitting in traffic? Well, Waze will look ahead for you at all the possible routes and take you the fastest way, avoiding accidents, back ups and anything that could delay you.  You will even get updates while traveling along the interstate about a disabled vehicle along the side of the road!

How do they compile this information? ¬†From users in your community. ¬†One time while traveling with the Waze App open, we came upon road construction that we were not alerted to. ¬†While we were stopped, a message popped up “We notice you have been stopped a while”. ¬†We were given options to report back our lack of progress on the route. ¬†We clicked road construction and realized this info will be relayed on to the next user and they will be alerted and/or rerouted on a different route. While traveling, pop ups will appear that other users have alerted as hazards. ¬†You will have an option to thumbs up or down if the distraction or occurrence is still happening or if the hazard has cleared.

Also there is a fine selection of voices. ¬†I personally have opted with the Boy Band last trip. ¬†I mean, why not? It was a little comical being sung to ‘in 1000 ft, turn left”. On a recent trip the kids and I changed dad’s voice to Mr. T.

 

waze navigation app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Street Food

food cart app

 

 

 

 

Food trucks have been one of the greatest trends! ¬†I love exploring different eats and bites around town. ¬†But sometimes it’s hard to hear about a new food truck find until you see a friend check in with a photo of mouthwatering food. ¬†Some cities have a designated area where food trucks have to be, but in other towns, food trucks can park where they can find the best location. ¬†And sometimes they can move around. ¬†How do you keep up? ¬†Look in the App Store or Google Play with key words like ‘street food’ or ‘food truck’. ¬†You should find one for your city.

This is great way to keep up to date where your favorite food truck is.  They will provide info weather they are open or closed, location and hours.  And also a link to their menu.  And if your lucky and know they can get busy, a way to call or message your order for pick up when you arrive.

Food truck app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is both a map view (like above) or a list view.  Both show food trucks that are currently open (green) or closed (red).  Both have clickable links that will open to a page with more information about each business.  The businesses can provide a description of the cuisine and detailed lists of times and locations of the truck.  Additional info each business can provide are phone (perfect for those phone ahead orders for busy days and busy food trucks Рno line waiting!), website with full menu and links to their other social media apps.

 

 

5. Countdown

countdown app

 

 

 

 

OK, there is really nothing must have about this – this is just purely for pleasure! ¬†We have a vacation coming up and it’s easy to get excited about it – to count down with the kids by the day, hour, minutes and second! ¬†Last day of school countdown!? Big birthday bash coming up? ¬†How many days to Christmas? ¬†You can choose from many stock photos ranging from all special occasions or simply choose from one of your own.

Countdown app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Venmo

venmo payment app

 

 

 

 

Have you ever been out with friends and spend time trying to split the bill? ¬†Some of you have cash and others have credit card and someone pulls out the calculator to divvy up the bill. ¬†Or you decide to go in on a gift for someone and everyone is pitching in $5 and you just don’t have cash on you at the moment. ¬†Better yet, get home from a great date night out and it’s time to pay the babysitter and…you have no cash! ¬†Yikes.

This app is a game changer!

Venmo is a mobile payment service that allows users to transfer money to those in their social network (P2P – Peer to Peer). It’s owned by PayPal (and uses same security and safety measures) and debits or credits your linked bank account.

Of course with any other electronic payment system, do your own research and only do what feels right for you.  I would advise to only use Venmo with those in your close social network.  I personally would not use this to pay the complete stranger you buy a piece of exercise equipment off Craigslist or OfferUp!

 

Venmo payment app

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a screen shot from the fun feed with Venmo. ¬†You can also see all the transactions of friends in your personal network are exchanging. ¬†I didn’t want to screen shot as it is more private, but I have some pretty humorous friends! ¬†When you make a payment, you can add a note about the transaction. ¬†With emoji’s or with simple words.

One reason I also wanted to share this particular screen shot was that I learned something from a making a payment to a friend that I thought was on Venmo. ¬†I found her name on the list but didn’t look closely enough that she actually hadn’t registered. ¬†So it was my hairdresser and after I left, I realized I can’t talk and calculate a tip at the same time and that I didn’t leave enough of a tip. ¬†So I went to make a payment with the caption “because I can’t add ??”. ¬†But a few days weeks later when my account was being reconciled, I got a notification my account had been reimbursed that payment with the explanation that the user was not on Venmo. ¬†The explanation did not come through the app, but in an email. The time may have been longer that necessary, but at least I know that I’m not just sending my money off in the world wide web and it not landing in the appropriate place. ¬†It was being looked after and rightfully returned because of my careless mistake.

7.  Red Stamp

red stamp digital cards

 

 

 

With all the social media platforms out there, we have extended our “friend” circle quite large and seem to always be wishing someone a happy birthday! ¬†And as quickly as life seems to be flying by, when it comes time to plan for get togethers and parties, stopping by the store or ordering invites and mailing can sometimes slip through the cracks.

This is why I love Red Stamp. ¬†They have digital cards you can customize with or without photos. ¬†You also have the option or order cards or just say “it’s a digital” day.

I love the simplicity of creating a card or an invite with a few swipes and clicks on my smart phone.  And there are options to add photos to personalize your card.

Also, if you are a consultant for companies like (Arbonne, CAbi, Jamberry, Limelight, Stella & Dot…just to name a few of the 32 from the list), they have custom templates sending out announcements and invites.

 

8. Redbox (for purchasing gift Promocodes)

Redbox prom codrs

 

 

 

I know everyone knows that Redbox is easy breezy to search for a movie in a kiosk near you to reserve and pick up, but the reason I want to highlight Redbox is because the ease of gift giving you can do with this app downloaded to your phone!

Weather you are looking to give a teacher gift, a figt for a babysitter or your kids need a quick gift for a friend, you can down load 5 – 10 (or more!) promo codes to give as gifts in less than 5 minutes!

Select the DVD & Blu Ray option and scroll down the e- gift cards to PROMO CODES.  Select Promo Codes.

Red box promo codes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it comes time to select your promo codes, you can send them all to a friend or the trick I use is to send them to myself.  I am then sent via email 5 codes that I can use how and when I choose.

I then get on Pinterest and find a cute free printable that I can hand write the code into and send on its way! I’ve used these cute ones from A Southern Mother. ¬†They are FREE¬†cute ticket stub printables!

9. Postagram

 

 

 

You are on your amazing vacation and looking for that perfect postcard to send back to the friends and family back home. And then finding a postcard stamp – or just a stamp itself!? Or you have captured a keepsake photo and wish to capture it and send to a long distant loved one.

How about mailing a personalized photo OF YOU?! And adding a personalized message.  And the photo can pop out for a keepsake.  All from your phone, at only $1.99. Yes, please!

Postagram send personalized postcard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Any.do

any do list making app

 

 

 

 

Here is a reoccurring moment in my everyday life: I am doing something “busy” like driving or prepping a meal or using the bathroom (eh, hem) and I have a thought of something I REALLY need to do. ¬†Like text someone or call someone or pay that bill or make an appointment. ¬†All of those life daily tasks that you mean to do and forget to do and think of doing at the most inconvenient time when you don’t have your planner or your “to do” list and paper handy. I usually have my phone on me on most occasions (yes, even sometimes in the bathroom. ¬†No judgy eyes!).

I love this app for the ease of entering a task.  It has

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are so great apps out there to make life a little more manageable and to keep you chugging along about your day.  I hope you find some (or all!) of these useful to add to your daily family routine.

8 Easy High Protein Breakfast Ideas

Mornings are busy, am I right? It’s too easy to grab a granola bar and begin your regular routine. ¬†But that isn’t doing your body good. ¬†Below are a few of my go-to, quick and easy high protein breakfast ideas I can whip up and get going. ¬†Some, like a hash or scramble can made to last for a few days. ¬†So make once and the consecutive days are even easier! ¬†Others are broiled in the oven and ready in less than 5 minutes.

I hope you find this is a good variety of sweet and savory.  I like to have several different options as I will grow tired of the same breakfast day after day.  Then I get bored and tend to find myself biting into something not as healthy or as intended for my day. And these are all family friendly.  Some even the youngest can easily scoop out some yogurt or cottage cheese and if there is fresh cut fruit on hand, they can easily help make a nutritious breakfast.

I also enjoy making and eating eggs differently.  Sometimes I really crave the runny yolk with some veggies and other times I crave the texture of fluffy eggs with a hint of salt.  And I hope these ideas are just a spring board for you to take what you love and add to and create your own.

I would love for you to share some of your creations in the comments.  I love being inspired and trying new twists to a favorite stand by!

1.  Cloud Toast

Cottage Cheese has about 14g of protein per 1/2 cup, which is just about what you need to make 2 slices of cloud toast. And I love this Trader Joe’s cottage cheese as there are only 3g of sugar.

If you have 10 minutes, you can make, eat and clean up your breakfast.  Start to finish.  Not too bad, and you will feel full and satisfied and ready to conquer your morning.

*This one is my youngest daughter’s favorite! ¬†At 9, she is even helping get it ready for the oven and she loves using a pizza cutter to cut this into bite size pieces.

cottage cheese toast high protein breakfast

How to Make

Take 1-2 slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread and place on baking sheet (I used the Pampered Chef stone pan)  Scoop 1/4 cup of cottage cheese (low in sugar) and spread over each piece of bread.  Sprinkle with Cinnamon.

Turn oven onto High Broil.  Keep racks in the middle location!  Broil 4-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on your oven.  Cottage cheese will be slightly melted and edge of bread toasty.

2. Egg in a basket

Eggs have around 6g of protein each. Avocados have almost 3g per cup. ¬†This is a fun version of ‘egg on toast’. ¬†You still get the ooey gooeyness of the runny egg yolk to sop up in the toast when you cook it in the center of your bread.

eggs in basket

How to Make

Preheat oven to 325¬į. ¬†Place 2 slices of bread on baking sheet. ¬†Use a cookie cutter or even the rim of a glass to make circle or cut out shape in your whole grain bread. Crack on egg in a small bowl. ¬†Check for shells, then pour into cutout. ¬†Repeat if you are preparing 2 slices.

Bake  for 8-10 minutes.  If egg is not completely to your liking (too soft or runny), then broil for 1-2 minutes longer.

Season with salt and pepper.  Place on plate over bed of spinach or softened kale.  Garnish with slices of avocado. Drizzle with a little splash of EVOO.

3. Chicken Sausage Hash with Poached Egg

Chicken Sausage has between 11-13g protein each, depending on brand. Sweet potato has about 3g per cup.

This breakfast is great for a “clean out the fridge” morning. ¬†Any veggies you have left on hand can go right in. ¬†Peppers, mushrooms, sweet potato – I even went out and tried a new veggie for the first time…parsnip! ¬†So good. ¬†If you like onions, ya, that can go in yours. ¬†Just don’t invite me to share this dish with you! I love making loads of this at once. ¬†Then I have portions for a few days, which make the following days super easy!

Lately I’ve been feeling the effects of too much tennis, although is there really such a thing? ¬†But in all seriousness, I’ve had knee issues, toe issues…and I’m sure you experience your own aches and pains from osteoarthritis or joint pain or just growing older each day. I take a daily does of liquid Glucosamine as well as trying to sprinkle some turmeric into my dishes (not my families!) when I can.

Turmeric, in the fresh root form, looks like ginger.  Just a more burnt orange color.  It can be hard to find the root and it can get expensive.  I pick up a root or two at a specialty grocery store when I can but I always have a jar of ground turmeric around.  I put it in smoothies, on dishes and I even did a grapefruit and turmeric Kombucha last year that I am soon making again.  (As with any other supplement, check with your physician and do your own research for what is right for you.  For example, if you are on a blood thinner or you are monitoring your blood sugar levels, taking turmeric may cause adverse affects).

Breakfast hash high protein

How to Make

Pull out and cut up all your sausage and favorite veggies.  The options are limitless on this.  Just start with the veggie that is the most firm and needs more pan time first.  Spread a little EVOO around a warm pan and add veggies and the sausage until completely cooked and veggies are nice and tender.  Season with salt, pepper or other spices. Place in bowl.

Meanwhile, poach an egg.  In a small pot, bring 2 inches of water to a boil.  Crack an egg into a small dish.  Turn heat down to a low boil/simmer.  Use a wooden spoon to stir the water in one direction and pour your egg while water is still swirling.  This will help the egg gather into itself for a nice oval shaped poached egg.  Simmer for just under 3 minutes for a firm white and a nice runny egg yolk. Place on top of your hash.  Season!

Store remaining hash in airtight container.  Heat up breakfast serving the following morning(s) and top with a poached egg. Breakfast left overs done in 3 minutes!

4.  Hash Scramble

This dish is another breakfast to make a big batch to have portions for days. ¬†Eggs have 6g of protein each and when you load it up with veggies it’s a great source of protein and you can keep it lean and green!

How to Make

Start by removing the stem from the kale.  Chop and sauté in a little EVOO until softened.  Chop up a sweet potato into small bites and sauté with the kale.  Add your other favorite veggies and cook until softened.  Mean while whip 6 eggs and pour over veggies over medium heat.  Let set for a few minutes and slowly start folding the eggs from the outer edge to the center, folding in the veggies.  Season and cook until eggs are firm and a bright glossy yellow.

5. Breakfast Reuben

This one packs a protein punch!  Your egg has 6g of lean protein and the corned beef has up to 15g per 3 oz! Swiss cheese has 8g per slice. This meal will fuel you with nearly 30g of protein!

I came up with the breakfast treat after St. Patrick’s Day. ¬†We had plenty of corned beef left over and already had the sauerkraut on hand (as a staple in the pantry as well as to go with the corned beef for Reuben sandwiches we planned on with leftovers). ¬†St. Patrick’s Day just happened to fall on a Friday so that left a rare Saturday morning I had fresh corned beef left-overs.

My husband is not very good and taking time for a decent breakfast, and granola bars don’t count, as many times as I keep telling him.¬†I usually get my weekend mornings where I am the first to wake, so I do a little clean up in the kitchen and catch up on a TV show the rest of the family doesn’t enjoy. ¬†I was deciding what to make for breakfast for myself before the whole crew woke up.

Next thing I knew after pilfering the fridge, I came up with this creation. ¬†And I made enough for the hubs! ¬†It’s a new favorite.

High protein breakfast reuben

How to Make

Grab a few slices of bread, marbled rye of course would be awesome!  Turn on oven to High Broil (with rack in middle).  Warm up the corned beef and sauerkraut in microwave until chill is off, between 15-30 seconds.

Place the bread on a baking sheet and layer with: first corned beef, sauerkraut, slice or shredded swiss cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, poach an egg.  In a small pot, bring 2 inches of water to a boil.  Crack an egg into a small dish.  Turn heat down to a low boil/simmer.  Use a wooden spoon to stir the water in one direction and pour your egg while water is still swirling.  This will help the egg gather into itself for a nice oval shaped poached egg.  Simmer for just under 3 minutes for a firm white and a nice runny egg yolk.

Place poached egg on top of your Reuben toast, season and enjoy!

6. Fruit & Cottage Cheese with Cinnamon

I love the cottage cheese from Trader Joe’s! ¬†I’m sure there are other great brands out there, but this one 14g of protein per serving and only 3g of sugar!

cottage cheese fruit bowl

How to Make

Easy peasy Рplace a scoop of cottage cheese (about 1/2 cup) into a bowl.  Dice up fresh fruit such as melon, pineapple or peaches.  Sprinkle with Cinnamon.  Simple, yet SO satisfying!

*This is so good with chia seeds, hemp seeds and ground flax seed.

7. Yogurt Bowl

My best find for Organic Greek Yogurt is at Costco. ¬†It has 23g of protein per 1 cup and only 6g of sugar! ¬†So good in smoothies or to enjoy in a bowl when you don’t have to take it on the run in a cup but can savor the bites with a spoon.

yogurt bowl

How to Make

Scoop out a cup of yogurt. ¬†Top with fresh fruit – I tend to keep my fruit to one or two, not to mixed. ¬†I don’t really know why, just something I’ve noticed about myself.

How would you create yours?  Mixed berries?  Go with the tropical blend?  Blueberries and strawberries are always a winner!  Try different toppings for a crunch like toasted coconut, chia seeds, granola or help seeds.

8. Scrambled Egg and Avo on Toast

An egg has 6g of protein. Feta cheese 4g per ounce.  Avocados have almost 3g per cup.

How to Make

This is so quick and easy!  Pop a slice or two of bread into your toaster.  Meanwhile scramble two eggs to your liking.  Spread over your toast.  Chop up some avocado and sprinkle some feta.  Enjoy.

I look forward to hearing from you about your favorite breakfast ideas.  Please leave me a comment and share what you love to make or what you love to eat for breakfast!

St. Patrick’s Day Pom Pom Decorations

The seasons are changing and I am finding that time here in the Pacific Northwest that I am still hopeful to see some snowflakes, yet squealing in delight as I see spring bulbs starting to burst through the soggy dirt.

The red, pink and white from Valentine’s day are packed away and now the spring green and glittery gold colors are starting to pop up around the house.

Years ago, a neighbor cleaned out their bin of crafts and gave my girls some unused crafting goodies.  In there was some cute colorful pom poms.  I have this window by front door that is small enough to look out, yet big enough to let light in and show off all the little finger and nose prints on the window.

I actually don’t even recall how and when I came across the fishing wire on my husbands work bench. ¬†I don’t recall him fishing. And we don’t talk too much about that time he came back from fishing with a fish hook in his cheek. ¬†Anyway, as I was trying to find the best way to string¬†these pom poms together, the fishing wire find was a light bulb! ¬†It’s clear, flexible and makes a great hidden string.

A trip to Hobby Lobby got me the cute gold glittery pom poms!

Craft items needed for Pom Pom Decorations

  • Craft pom poms
  • Fishing wire
  • Needle
  • Hanging tools such as Command Hooks
  • Old magazines (to store your pom pom strand, trust me on this!)
  • Clear packing tape

craft pom pom diy

pom pom craft diy

pom pom crafts

I don’t do much sewing, or much mending for that matter. ¬†But I keep this little tote and push pin and needle holder handy.

pom pom craft diy

Thread your needle and tie a double knot in the other end of your string so your first pom pom won’t slide right off the end!

Now start to string your first pom pom!  My daughter helped me select each pom pom.  She had fun figuring out a pattern to match when we did two strings side by side.

pom pom craft diy

pom pom craft diy

pom pom craft diy

Now, take it from my experience that when you want to take this down and store for next year you can do this the hard way or take a few extra minutes and prepare something so it is a dream to unpack in next year and not a nightmare.

So my lesson learned was that you can’t just carefully lay this in your tote and happily pull it out next year. ¬†It will inevitably tangle up into a knotted mess that will probably make you add a few quarters to your swear jar and throwing the whole thing away.

I have a great way for you to store it that makes it so much easier. ¬†Grab an old magazine and roll it. ¬†Then secure it on both ends with packing tape, masking tape, what ever you have handy. ¬†But make sure it’s not just Scotch tape as it is not strong enough.

garland storage hack

garland storage hack

Then secure one end of the clear wire over over the taped part of your magazine roll.  Now carefully start to wrap it around the magazine.

garland storage hack

My only other tip I have about this is do ONE magazine for ONE garland strand.  Again, speaking from experience here!  The clear, thin wire still manages to get tangled up in each other and becomes a mess.  Just make it easy on your future self and store them separately!

This is fun to do with all the different season or even birthdays with the birthday boy or girls favorite colors.

Healthy Mardi Gras Party Food

We have a great group of friends that look at creative ways to get our busy schedules together.  And by creative I mean a celebration of some type that includes a food theme.  This year for Mardi Gras we are gathering our families together, play some games and enjoy a festive food.  On the menu will be Jambalaya, Hurricanes, and King Cake.  I was planning on a fruit or veggie tray and then decided healthy skewers would be fun to make and easier party food.  Perfect for some healthy Mardi Gras party food (and to balance out the King Cake I was also making)!  And more fun in Mardi Gras colors: Purple, Green and Gold. Always the curious one, I had to look up why these colors are significant to Mardi Gras and a little history of Mardi Gras.
healthy mardi gras party food

Short History on Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is traced back to Medieval Europe and is translated to “Fat Tuesday”. ¬†It is a celebration of the beginning of Lent. French Explorers settled in what is now New Orleans on the eve of the festive holiday and over time, the kick off of the celebration became more elaborate¬†with Carnivals, wearing masks, throwing beads and the crowning of King Rex.

The colors represented are of royal colors (purple and green) and of metal (gold). ¬†Colors were “necessary” at the time to honor the King Rex. ¬†A King needs a kingdom and a kingdom needs a flag. And a flag needs colors fit for a King! These flags were to wave proudly over Carnival. ¬†And now, these colors are everywhere to represent Mardi Gras. ¬†(For more, detailed history, visit the site Mardi Gras New Orleans. ¬†Here is a Bonus from this site, if you are a sports fan or just a fan of fun details:

According to legend, Mardi Gras colors influenced the choice of school colors for arch-rivals Louisiana State University and Tulane University. They say when LSU was deciding on its colors, the shops in New Orleans had stocked up on purple, green, and gold for the Mardi Gras season. LSU decided upon purple and gold, and bought much of it. Tulane bought much of the only remaining color ‚Äď green.” (Source: www.mardigrasneworleans.com/mgcolors.html)

Healthy Mardi Gras Party Food – Fruit and Vegetable Skewers

What’s the best way to balance the sweet treats at the food table? ¬†Fruits and veggies of course! ¬†I thought it would be fun to come with a Mardi Gras color palatte and make skewers that can be grab and go and simple finger food.

So with so much history and tradition with these royal colors, I went to the best resources on fruit and vegetable colors, my two girls!  I got out a pencil and my journal and ask them to name fruits and vegetables in purple, green and gold (yellow).

Here was our list:

VEGETABLES

Purple-

  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage

Green-

  • Celery
  • Snap peas
  • Cucumber (technically a fruit, but is a better bite with veggies)

Gold-

  • Carrots
  • Pepper
  • Cheese (I know, not a veggie, but a nice pairing with veggies!)
  • Baby Corn

FRUITS

Purple-

  • Grape
  • Blueberries

Green-

  • Grape
  • Kiwi

Gold-

  • Pineapple
  • Cheese (I know, not a fruit, but a nice pairing with grapes!)

What other ones can you come up that you can find locally?

There is  an amazing kitchen store right down the road from me.  I found my skewers there and was back home about 8 minutes later.  I had to stop and chat to the owner for a bit!  Stores like Cash & Carry also have bamboo skewers. Amazon carries these bamboo skewers.

Healthy Mardi Gras party food

I can’t decide which combination I like best grapes with the pineapple…

Healthy Mardi Gras party food

Or the pineapple with the kiwi and grape!  Good thing they are healthy bites so I can enjoy them both.

healthy Mardi Gras Party food with Tillamook Cheddar Cheese

Isn’t this purple cabbage a thing of wonder and a thing of beauty? ¬†Again, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to look into what the deal is with purple cauliflower. ¬†My first thought was “is it dyed?”. ¬†I was relived to find out, no, it is NOT dyed. ¬†The reasoning for the purple color comes from an antioxidant also found in red cabbage and red wine. ¬†Ohhh, I like red wine! This paired nicely with the crispy crunch of a sugar snap pea and the rich creaminess of Tillamook Cheddar cheese, found here in my home state of Oregon!

healthy Mardi Gras fruit and vegetable party food

Another fun find was some organic carrots in purple, yellow and the standard orange.  As I was looking through the bags to ensure I got the most colorful bag, I caught the curiosity of a stranger.  She was interested in my interest in these carrots that we struck up a conversation and she ended up buying a bag, too.  I just love these little unexpected, joyous encounters in my day.

purple carrots yellow carrots used in mardi gras party food

I hope you find this healthy nibbles fun and a nice change up to your Mardi Gras party food.  Still indulge in that King Cake!  I did, but just a little sweet sliver.  It was so worth it.

Zesty Zucchini Chowder

I love soups in the fall and winter!  And here in the Pacific Northwest, we got hit hard this winter with ice storms, freezing temperatures and snow, which is pretty unusual.  So on a magical snow day, I went to my fridge, saw this beautiful organic zucchini and came up with this Zesty Zucchini Chowder.

I wanted something quick and simple. I wanted something that didn’t require a lot of cooking or prepping and where zucchini will be the star of the dish. This would be a great soup for a last minute lunch or dinner idea. And this is a quick meal if you are short on prep time to get dinner to a busy, hungry family in a hurry.

Let’s Make the Chowder

First, grab your zukes and wash and chop them.  I like to quarter them into nice bite sizes for the chowder.

I made this a little differently from when I created this post and took some of my photos. (See NOTE below.)

What I did differently was after chopping the zucchini, melt 2 TBSP of butter in a big sauce pan.  Once melted,  toss in zucchini just until it becomes lightly browned and softened.

Sprinkle 2 TBSP flour (I used GF) until well coated.  Cook for about 2 minutes.  Stream in the stock (chicken or veggie).

Now add veggies and spices.  Once it was slightly bubbling, turn heat to low, put a cover on. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the zucchini and corn (frozen) are tender.

NOTE: The reason I tossed in the zucchini with the butter (unlike the photos below where I tossed the veggies in all at once) was because my first batch with the zucchini tossed in, the peel was a little rough and tough.  Saut√©ing the zucchini in butter first gets it nice and soft, especially the skins.

After your soup has simmered and your zucchini is tender, it’s time to add the milk and cheese to make this creamy and cheesy.

I like to use 2% milk just for less fat.  To make this zesty I like to add pepper-jack cheese.  But this will work great with any cheese you have on hand from cheddar to Monterey Jack.  If you use one of these other cheeses, I would add in some extra seasoning such as chili powder, garlic and cumin or chilis. And as you will learn about me, I am a self-proclaimed ‘spice wimp’, so when I say zesty, it is pretty mild.  Don’t judge!

Ladle up the chowder into soup bowls and top with more cheese, parsley or cilantro.  Enjoy!

Zesty Zucchini Chowder

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A perfect fall or winter chowder to warm you up when it's chilly outside.

Source: livingohsopeachy.com

Ingredients

  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 2 medium zucchini, washed, cut and quartered
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 1 can diced mild green chilis
  • 10 oz. frozen corn
  • 2 cups of Chicken/veggie broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pepper-jack cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parsley or cilantro to garnish if desired

Directions

  1. Melt 2 TBSP butter in sauce pan.
  2. Add quartered zucchini.
  3. Cook until zucchini is softened.
  4. Add 2 TBSP flour, mix well.
  5. Stream in 2 cups of Chicken/veggie broth and stir continuously to thicken.
  6. Add in corn, diced chilis, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin.
  7. Bring to a slow boil, turn heat down to a simmer, cover with lid and cook for about 5 – 10 minutes until zucchini and corn are tender.
  8. Add in milk; heat until warmed.
  9. Add cheese and parsley for garnish if desired.