Thai Chicken Soup for Immunity

Thai Chicken Soup for Immunity

That cold that has been going around finally caught up with me. Sunday night I felt the oh-so-familiar scratchiness in my throat, and I know it had come for me. I took Sunday night to be super lazy and watch all the netflix, but on Monday I decided to take action, and I cobbled together this version of the classic remedy for the common cold: Chicken Soup. 

First a side note: I am OBSESSED with Thai coconut chicken soup, or Tom Kha Gai. So far I have yet to find a restaurant in Oakland that has an awesome one on their menu. If you know of a spot with stellar soup, hit me up in the comments!! Please. Seriously. DO IT NOW. 

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Brisket: The Better Way to Beef

Brisket: The Better Way to Beef

Ok folks. We have to talk about Brisket. Here’s what I love about the “Ugly Duckling” of the Beef family:

  1. It’s the cheapest cut of grass-fed beef you can buy. 
  2. It comes in a giant slab of righteousness
  3. You can make enough food to feed a large family (or in our case, 2 adults for about a week)
  4. It’s crazy delicious with minimal effort. 

This dish may not look pretty, but my man took it to lunch on Monday, and it smelled so good that his co-workers were asking about it all week long. Not exaggerating. 

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Thanksgiving "Stuffing" Turkey Loaf

Thanksgiving "Stuffing" Turkey Loaf

Didn't get your fill of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce? Yeah me neither. 

This Turkey Loaf satisfies all of my taste cravings for a full thanksgiving meal, and it's in alignment with my nutritional guidelines: Protein-rich, lots of veggies including dark leafy greens, low-carb, and gluten free! 

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Simple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Rough on the outside, sweet on the inside. 

Rough on the outside, sweet on the inside. 

Lately we have been getting a bounty of sweet potatoes in our Imperfect Produce delivery box, so I decided to whip up a big batch of cubed roasted sweet potatoes. They are amazingly delicious fresh out of the oven, and they play well as leftovers: 

  • Beef up a salad by sprinkling them on top of your favorite mixed greens and adding protein like grilled chicken breast, leftover steak slices, or chick peas. 
  • Whip up a killer breakfast hash by heating some coconut oil or bacon fat in your skillet (cast iron is the bizness), toss in a handful of sweet potatoes chunks, sprinkle seasoning (paprika, fresh thyme if  you have it, garlic powder) and toss every minute or so until they are crusty and crisped on at least 1 edge. Top that with 2-3 fried eggs and some hot sauce and life is good. Also you have just made a hearty breakfast that will keep you full for hours in under 6 minutes. 

Food that works well as leftovers is GOLD in my house, because I generally don't have much time for cooking during the week. My key strategy for making sure my nutrition is on point involves cooking a big batch of protein and a few veggies sides, usually on Sunday, and then reheating and recombining throughout the week to make easy, fast meals.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Lots of sweet potatoes (5 or more) - peel 'em if they aren't organic
  • onion or garlic (optional, but adds to the awesome)
  • Fat (something that is naturally occurring and has a high smoke point like coconut oil or bacon fat--NOT olive oil which will burn and leave your taters tasting funky)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large baking sheets
  • parchment paper (optional, but makes for easy clean up and nicely caramelized sweet potato bites

WHAT TO DO:

PREP: Preheat your oven to 425. Cut your parchment paper to fit your baking sheets. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cut your onion (I used a red onion, but yellow is just as good) into 1 inch "cubes" which will inevitably fall apart and that's ok--it just means more crispy delicious onion bits for you later! Plop some fat on the parchemnt. If you're using coconut oil or bacon fat, those will be solid at room temperature (unless you live somewhere very warm) so you'll want to dollop some on each pan in the center, and then stick those pans in the oven for a minute to melt the fat. 30 seconds to a minute it plenty. 

Now you're ready to rock. Pull the pans out, dump half of the potatoes and onions on each pan and toss with a spatula to coat in the fat. Don't add salt yet! Spread the sweet potatoes and onions in an even single layer on the baking sheets. Space between the chunks will ensure that they don't get soggy/mushy and they DO get nicely caramelized--you want this, trust me. 

Stick the pans in the oven and set your timer for 20 minutes. 

At the 20 minute mark, check to see if your potatoes are getting  nicely browned on the underside. If yes, stir with your spatula and bake for another 7-10 minutes, until they are soft and compress slightly at the touch. If no, put them back in unstirred for another 5 minutes, then check again. 

When they are done, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and stir. The potatoes will be warm enough still to make the seasonings adhere. Adding salt BEFORE you back will make your potatoes tough, which is why we skipped it earlier. 

ENJOY! Add a comment and let me know how you recombined your leftovers this week. 

Procrastination Pumpkin Spice Granola

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It's amazing how quickly a 2 hour Study Session can turn into Making Pumpkin Spice Granola. This post is brought to you by the letter "P" as in "Procrastination." 

Here's the thing. Since the weather turned slightly chilly, I've been wanting to make granola. So that's been on my to do list. Also a top priority right now is studying for my Precision Nutrition Certification exam (which is happening December 19th!) There. I said it.  On the interwebz. So now you can all hold me accountable. 

Even though I block out study time on my google calendar, for some reason as soon as I sit down and crack open that fatty delicious text book, a million things pop into my head from my back log to-do list. Clean the house! Organize the closet! Reply to that email from 3 weeks ago! Call your mom! Do all the laundry! 

One such afternoon, I gave in to the call of procrastination temptation and it yielded delicious results, so I'm sharing those with you today. I was inspired by this recipe but since I hadn't actually gone shopping for ingredients, made use of what was already in my pantry:

  • Gluten Free Organic Whole Oats 
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pie Spice (use LIBERALLY. I wish I had added more than the recipe called for)
  • Dried Cherries (I added these in after baking so they wouldn't get hard/chewy)
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pecan pieces
  • Maple Syrup (instead of honey)
  • Kerry Gold Grass Fed Butter 

Enjoy with almond milk (like cereal), atop yogurt, or just by the handful. However, it is important to remember that even though this granola is a waaaaaay better option for you than processed store-bought cereals, it is still a treat! If getting lean is your top priority, even healthy treats must be enjoyed in moderation and at the right time of day. 

So now you know my big goal (Precision Nutrition Certification December 19th there I said it again) and you know one of my avoidance tactics (what? I'm making home-made nutritious food I'm being productive I'm totally not wasting time). On the journey to achieving a sizable goal, it's really easy to convince yourself that you are taking steps that move you toward that goal, when you are actually dancing in circles. It's especially easy when you are all by yourself. Now that I'm sharing this story with you guys, it's clear to me that my granola caper was a fun distraction dance, but in the moment, I totally justified the choice. That's why accountability is so important to goal acquisition. You need a village, folks.

What is your biggest health goal? What steps are you taking to move towards it? More importantly, have you shared your goal with anyone else? Please share in the comments, or post your favorite avoidance tacits on instagram with #procrastinationboogie and tag me @hannahhusband

In the meantime, enjoy your granola!