Moroccan Bowls

I wanted to switch up my cooking a little. New kitchen, new vibes. I tend to make a lot of healthier comfort foods. This was very comforting too just a little different. I got my husband to eat and enjoy couscous (the food so nice they named it twice).

It was fairly easy to make and was super yummy. These bowls are perfect to make ahead for lunch, good meal prep recipe.

I added the hummus, air fryed chickpeas and chopped parsley and thought it was a nice touch. My husband did not want it and he still enjoyed it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoon of oil (I used a mix of avocado and olive)
  • 6 chicken drumsticks (or whatever chicken, meat or plant based item you want to include)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 cup shallots
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or water)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Hummus (optional)
  • Air fryed chickpeas (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, paprika, cayenne, turmeric, ginger, fresh thyme and oil. I separated the mixture into two bowls. (one for the chicken and one for veggies)
  2. Place the chicken on the baking sheet and using a pastry brush, brush the chicken with the spice-oil mixture. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  3. While chicken is cooking, in a pot on medium, add the couscous and 1-1/2 cups chicken stock. I added some salt and thyme for flavor but this isn’t necessary if you have to monitor your salt intake. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until couscous is soft. Turn off heat but leave covered so the steam stays in.
  4. After 15 minutes of baking the chicken, add the veggies to the baking sheet, drizzle with spices and then mix together. Bake for another 15-20 minutes.
  5. Once chicken and veggies are ready, pour the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock to create a little sauce.
  6. Plate and enjoy! I added the hummus, air fryed chickpeas and chopped parsley once it was plated.

365 Day Self Transformation Project (Formerly 90 Day) A Much Needed Break – Week 7

These last month got chaotic. I got a terrible cold for 10 days, received some negative feedback at work, got new meds for my IBS and was trying to move while prepping my house to be sold. I was stressed about staying on task to reach my goals. I also realized that much of my stress was of my own creation. I live off of my righteous anger. I would rather be stressed and riddled with anxiety than be wrong. It was a bit of an awakening for me.

I decided to take a break from the transformation work and just focus on clearing out as much self created stress as possible. I made the tight timeline to put my house on the market the week after we moved out. I can take an additional two weeks so I don’t get overwhelmed. I set incredibly lofty goals for myself, this transformation work included.

I probably should have given myself a year to reach all of the goals I set for myself. Since it’s my transformation project, I am extending to 365 days instead of 90. Goals stay the same, but now have more time to really devote to self reflection and changing my life for the better.

After recognizing that most of my stress was my own creation and devoting the time to change my perspective, I have been feeling so much happier and am able to enjoy my time with friends and family and actually be present.

In other news, although I wasn’t as dedicated to my meal prep, I weighed myself and I am officially down to 181.2! I did still track my food and ate in moderation. Despite all of the mental anguish, I have not binged since December 1!

My husband and I signed up for a 5k which falls under two of my goals – quality time with my husband and wellness. It’s on March 8. We are going to walk it and maybe in June, we will try another one but try jogging that one.

Our new place is wonderful and it was such a great decision to move. We are walking distance to Trader Joes. I am already getting about 3k more steps a day in the new place. The best thing is our new bathtub! Daily baths while reading. It is the perfect way to destress after a long day.

Hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day! Until next week…

Low FODMAP Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies and cookie cake are probably my favorite desserts ever. I am trying hard to embrace my new Low FODMAP diet so on Saturday night I was determined to make some delicious cookies. Lately I have been making the microwave cookie in a mug but it is just not the same. I signed up for Thrive Market and got some coconut sugar, oat flour and sprouted brown rice flour (okay we get you fancy flour).

I recently downloaded the FODMAP app for my phone and it is so helpful! I also did a ton of research on gluten free baking and am not quite ready to explore the gums yet. In my normal chocolate chip cookies, I add a little corn starch, it always keeps them light and fluffy and it really worked in these too.

All of these ingredients are low on the FODMAP. However, everyone’s stomach is so different, you may need to sub some ingredients based on your own needs.

These cookies are so so amazing! Even my husband likes them and he hates cookies (a serious flaw that I can’t believe I overlook).

One note about the recipe. Keep the oil pretty cold. In my second batch, the oil got warmer and those cookies are now a little harder.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz cold coconut oil
  • 3 oz coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10 oz oat flour
  • 6 oz rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 oz milk (I used pecan milk)
  • 6 oz chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place cold coconut oil and sugar into mixer with paddle attachment.
  2. Cream together for about 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flours, soda, powder, starch and salt) until combined.
  4. Then add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Add the milk. It will still be a pretty thick dough.
  6. Roll in the chocolate chips. Then shape into balls and place on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake until crispy on the bottom. I baked mine for about 20-25 minutes.

Hope you enjoy! Next week I will be trying gluten free bread.

90 Day Self Transformation Project – Week 6 (Days 36-42) – Weekly Check In

I am halfway through this 90 day transformation. Some things have been going really well like putting my wellness and health as a top priority. I probably could have just done 12 week dedicated to wellness. 

I am down to 187.2 which is about 3lbs away from original weight before the big gain last fall. It took a lot of work to reach this number. Interestingly, my inches are still higher. I am wondering if when I am experiencing the plateaus on weight but not inches, my body is readjusting the inches?

I had a painful, I mean super painful IBS flareup starting last Thursday. I had to miss work, slept for over 14 hours. 

On Friday, I scheduled an appointment with my doctor but then had a realization. I have given up dairy, but there are two things that I really struggle with giving up, garlic and gluten.  So now, I have officially given up both of those. It will take probably a month to notice the difference. 

I am going to embrace my new dairy, gluten and garlic free life and try to be as positive as possible. If it helps with my IBS, it will be worth it. I tried out a couple of new recipes. If interested, I made buckwheat banana muffins and they were so good! 

On Saturday, finally feeling better, I tried out a new restaurant, Whole Sol, in Denver and boy, it was expensive and just okay. I paid $25 for a small bowl and a juice, not worth it and definitely won’t be back. 

My kitchen fail this week was crawfish coconut curry and butternut squash rice. The curry was just not great and the rice was mushy it just mixed with curry. I had to redeem myself with something. I made this delicious dinner on Sunday. I was really in the mood for some hashbrowns, so I roasted some shredded carrots and fried an egg with it. Best quick and easy dinner. 

I reset some of my weight loss rewards and got a scale for the kitchen and an air fryer. I usually hate extra equipment in the kitchen but I am loving the air fryer. I cooked chicken in 20 minutes and it was so flavorful and crispy. 

The scale has been really helpful. I have been underestimating my proteins and overestimating my sauces. Dinner was actually filling once I got the scale. 

This week I am grateful the challenges life brings and everything I am learning from them.

Buckwheat Banana Muffins (Dairy and Gluten Free)

I am getting a little tired of my dark chocolate squares for after lunch. I decided to switch it up this week and make some muffins. Before last week, I had never tried buckwheat flour and was excited to put it in a new recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3 bananas , half of another banana for garnish (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (you can skip if you use ripe bananas. I can’t eat ripe bananas so needed a little sweetener.)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil or any other oil.
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8-10 muffin tins.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the banana with a fork.
  3. Stir in cinnamon, coconut oil, vanilla and egg until well combined.
  4. Fold in salt, baking powder and buckwheat flour.
  5. If adding, fold in chocolate chips.
  6. With a spoon, fill muffin tins to about 3/4.
  7. If doing a garnish, add the banana slice to the top.
  8. Back for about 20 minutes or until knife comes out mostly clean.
  9. Let cool for about 5 minutes then enjoy or save for later.

90 Day Self Transformation Project – Week 5 (Days 32-35) – Weekly Check In

Instead of trying to post everyday, I am going to do a weekly check i so I can spend more time actually hitting my goals and getting some balance in my life.

I am over a month in and I am definitely changing! I’ve lost over 15lbs and have some balance in my diet. I started out very restrictive. I have a little less than 9lbs left to go before I can start high impact exercises and I am hoping to hit that before spring. However, in my weekly weigh in/measurements, I am still at the same weight for almost 3 weeks now. I think I have hit a plateau so I am going to reassess my workout routine and also purchase a scale for my food and see what happens. The good news is I lost about 5 inches since my last measurements in various places so something is working. 

This week my sleep and water intake have not been great. I get barely 6 hours of good sleep. I know it’s my depression which is very frustrating. I did find these great sleep meditations on youtube which helped the past two nights. I also need to figure out a way to get more water. I noticed this week I drink around 30 oz a day which is just not enough especially at a higher altitude. I got a dehydration headache almost everyday. 

This week, I did not get to a church service either. Sunday morning is always my grocery shopping time and I am struggling with adjusting to my new routine. 

I got so many new things to try at Trader Joe’s. I went to the store so hungry that I wanted everything in the store and went a little overboard.

Everything but the Bagel Chicken Meatballs

Ready!

I am obsessed with the everything but the bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. It is so good on everything. Salads, veggies, avocado toast, sandwiches, whatever. I wanted to try them in meatballs. I needed to food prep for the weekend so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

These were so quick and easy to make. I wish they would have kept their shape a little better. Even my husband liked them.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz ground chicken
  • 3 Tablespoons Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons buckwheat flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large combine the ground chicken and egg.
  2. Add the spices.
  3. Fold in the buckwheat flour.
  4. Line a pan with parchment paper and then create some balls with the chicken mixture.
  5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
  6. Rest for 2 minutes then enjoy or pack for later!