Power Oatmeal

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I love that oatmeal is such a great breakfast option.  It is literally a blank slate, and you can add any flavors you want! I don’t post a lot of breakfast recipes here, because I honestly eat about 3 or 4 different things for breakfast all year. I know this is slightly blasphemous, but breakfast is not my favorite meal… (I’m sorry!!!)

James LOVES breakfast, but for me, its a means to an end. I always make sure I get plenty of protein so I start my day off right. Most mornings I oscillate between Greek yogurt and granola, a protein smoothie, a protein bar (these are on rushed days), maybe an egg or two on toast, and in the winter – oatmeal with a scoop of protein.

These are all low sugar, low fat, high protein breakfast choices because if you know me, I get hungry every few hours.  The protein helps me last a little longer.  If I eat donuts or other sugary breakfast options, I need another meal within 1 hour – not ideal if you’re busy.

As I said, oatmeal is such a great blank slate.  I love to add in any fruit I have, some shaved coconut, chia seeds, and cinnamon. I also like to add in a scoop of protein powder because otherwise, oatmeal is just a big warm bowl of carbs, which your body will burn through quickly. There isn’t much science to cooking oatmeal, but the fun part is adding in all of your flavor options.

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For this oatmeal:

  • 1/2 cup of large cut oats
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut shavings
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries, and blue berries)

Cook your oatmeal according to your packaging.  In this case it was 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of water, microwave on high for 2 min and let sit for 2 min.

Add in all of your other ingredients and give it a good stir.

This is a power breakfast, getting in a serving of fruit, some protein, and some complex carbohydrates to give you energy. The chia seeds are packed with omega 3s and the coconut is good for digestion, you really can’t go wrong with any of these ingredients!

As the weather cools off, a nice warm breakfast is sometimes exactly what you need.

Lamb Chops with Mint Chimichurri

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Lamb chops with mint jelly have been an old staple for “luxury” eating for a very long time. I have to be honest, mint jelly kind of freaks me out. It is insanely green colored, like nothing I’ve ever seen in nature, and it is kind of in between the texture of a jelly and honey – more viscose than you would expect. It really is unnatural!

Very commonly in South and Central America, meat is served with chimichurri.  It is an uncooked sauce made predominantly of parsley, olive oil, garlic, and vinegar. It is delicious with various meats, and I thought, why not add some fresh mint to it and make a more natural mint sauce for lamb?!

Success! This sauce was so good, James was literally licking the bowl afterwards! We’ve always loved lamb, and when cooked well, it is tender, juicy, and so yummy! This recipe will teach you how to cook rack of lamb to a perfect medium rare every time, and how to impress your guests or family with your homemade mint sauce!

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For the Lamb:

  • 1-2 racks of lamb, depending on how many you are serving
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 500F.

Heat a cast iron pan with olive oil over high heat until oil is hot.

Sear each side of the lamb rack for about 3 min per side until nice and browned and the fat starts to crisp up.

Then put the pan with the lamb in the oven and turn the oven off (yes you heard right, turn it off).

Leave the lamb in the off oven for 20 minutes making sure to leave the door closed the whole time – no peaking!

Remove lamb from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. When you do cut into it, it will be perfect medium rare 🙂

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For the chimichurri:

  • 1 cup of parsley
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop all of your parsley and mint or process in a food processor.

Add in your minced garlic, olive oil, and vinegar and season with salt and pepper and you’re done!

It’s great if you can make the chimichurri in advance as the flavors really marinate together if you let it sit for a day or so.

Enjoy this dish with any sides you like, and tomorrow I will give you my recipe for rosemary roasted potatoes.

Buen Provecho!

 

 

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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Most people have had chicken lettuce wraps at Chinese restaurants and thought they were delicious. One downside of the chicken you get at the restaurant is that more often than not, it is pretty greasy and heavy. And though you wrap it in lettuce, it doesn’t necessarily feel healthy!

One of my favorite things is to challenge myself with cooking in different genres.  As I have mentioned before I am of Mexican heritage, and grew up in Texas. So my comfort zone is Mexican food and bbq! Which though awesome, are probably not what we need to be eating every day…

James and I have been working with personal trainers lately, and we are both really feeling and seeing the difference in our muscle tone, posture (me), and how we feel over all. Our eating habits have been a great balance with our training as we’ve been eating lots of lean meats, veggies, and a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates and starches. This recipe was really full of flavor, and we didn’t feel guilty eating it!

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What you need:

  • 1lb lean ground chicken
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped lemon grass (I bought jarred lemon grass for convenience)
  • 1 can of water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp chili oil
  • 1-2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (tamari if you are gluten free)
  • 1-2 tbsp of Sriracha

Begin by heating a wok or non-stick pan over medium heat and adding in the canola and chili oil.

Once your oil is hot, add in your ginger, garlic, and lemon grass and cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

Add in your ground chicken and break it apart while you cook it. If you find the chicken releasing too much liquid while cooking, drain a little bit of it out in the trash so it isn’t too oily.

Cook chicken for about 6 minutes, and then add in your water chestnuts, soy sauce, and Sriracha and cook a further 4 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove your lettuce off of the lettuce head and either pre-build your wraps or make it the fun part of eating!

We ate ours with some jasmine rice, but if you want to keep it paleo or whole 30, you can leave this out.

Enjoy!

 

 

Corn Avocado Salad

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Corn avocado salad is the perfect compliment to so many different dishes.  It goes really well with fish tacos, grilled shrimp, and as a topper for a Mexican rice bowl.  James can eat this salad by the bowl full, and luckily it is pretty good for you!

This week we made brown rice bowls with grilled shrimp, but this salad is the real show stopper. We eat it on its own a lot, so I thought it would be more fun to feature it alone. Sadly avocados are getting out of season, but we can get them green and let them ripen at home. This requires way more organization to make it happen, but I love avocados, so its worth it!

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What you need:

  • 2 cans of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 limes
  • 2 jalapeños (or less if you don’t like spicy)
  • 1-2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, add your corn, cherry tomatoes, and squeeze over the lime juice from both limes.

Halve your avocados and cube them.

Finely chop your jalapeños.

Add the avocado and jalapeño into the town with the corn and add the garlic powder and season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle over the olive oil and give the salad a good toss.

If you really love cilantro or red onion, you can add these in, but the flavor of this salad alone is really nice and balanced so I have left these out.

Enjoy over brown rice and top with grilled shrimp, or with fish tacos, or grilled chicken! It’s really tasty!