Spicy Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans with Eggs

It has 15g of protein, enough carbs to kick start your day, and plants. Don’t forget the plants. Because like me, I’m sure you’ve resolved to eat more plant-things this year. So let’s go ahead and scratch the first serving of the day off of your list.

Eggs over Asparagus with Bacon

Also, the sweet potatoes help keep the murderous rage away – you know the rage. The kind that comes with the cold-turkey 180 from crap holiday eating. I know you know what I’m talking about. Jason sure does. (giggle.)

The Craft

It’s a simple formula that has yet to fail me: 2 eggs cooked your way, over something green* and sweet potatoes**.

*I buy 6+ bags of frozen veggies a week: green beans, broccoli, and peas. When asparagus is in season (read: a pound is cheaper than a gallon of gas), it’s my favorite to use at breakfast but it does require more effort than just cutting open a bag and giving the plants a 4-minute spin in the microwave.

**You can make the diced sweet potatoes in bulk on the weekends to reheat or spend ~10 minutes cooking some that morning. I also bake 6-8 sweet potatoes every weekend to eat as sides throughout the week – slicing off a few rounds, sprinkling with some salt and chili powder, and then reheating in the microwave can save you time.

You can get the recipe for the potatoes here. Happy Clean(er) Eating!

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My Favorite Salad Chicken

The butter and the heavy cream.

And those month-old cookie-exchange cookies still sitting on the plate on the counter. It’s okay, you have my permission to throw them out now. Or use them for clay shooting – they’re probably about the same texture now.

This week, like a gajillion (it’s a word) other people on this planet, I’m committed to cleaning up my diet to detox from The Great 6-Week Holiday Food and Drink Indulgence of 2014.

My “favorite” (and I use that word increeeeedibly loosely) detox of the past couple of years has been Whole30. After suffering from plantar fasciitis for months and months, I feel like the complete overhaul of my diet was a huge factor in getting rid of it (’cause Lord knows I couldn’t be bothered with those stupid toe-scrunchy exercises).

But my irregular heartbeat issue seems to flare-up while on it so I have shied away from going all-in on it again this year. So this year’s detox will be less trademarked-program and more just-get-back-to-plain-smarter eating: more plants, lean(er) proteins, less bad fats.

Duh, right?

Mojo-Brined Grilled Chicken Breast

From June to mid-November, I lost 31 lbs (before gaining 11 of it over the holidays – and man, was that a delicious 11 lbs) not by doing a trademarked program, but by focusing on smarter eating and getting the majority of my carbs from plant sources.

So beginning today, I’m sharing some of my favorite heavy-rotation dishes to make when I’m in detox/zip-my-skinny-jeans-wthout-laying-on-the-bed-and-saying-Mommy-words mode. You can follow along on Instagram for insta-gratification for your lighter meal ideas. And then check back in here a couple times a week for full recipes and recaps!

Mojo Brined Chicken

First up, My Favorite Salad Chicken. Because plain grilled chicken won’t inspire anyone to meet their health goals for longer than 3 days.

I make it in bulk on the weekends and I actually have a batch going in the fridge right now. It is flavorful and juicy. But the best part is, that for the next several days, I won’t have to worry “what am I going to eat for lunch and have I used my Chick-fil-A Calendar Card this month yet.” Because it is always ready to slice and top a green salad at lunch or waiting be shredded with some greek yogurt and chopped grapes or apples and tucked into a wrap for a much lighter chicken salad lunch.

Mojo Brined Chicken

Get the recipe here!

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Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

I’d like to introduce you to some of the best Christmas cookies I’ve ever made.

And there’s nothing about this cookie really screams “Christmas,” except I first made them for the cookie exchange I attend every year. And it’s December and the start of the beautiful winter citrus season. And these cookies make my house smell really, really amazing and they make me really, really happy. Like Christmas morning.

And to think, this recipe started with one of my least favorite cookies ever: the sugar cookie.

Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

I hate the way sugar cookies smell fresh out of the oven. They smell like… well, they smell like eggs. Hot eggs. [gag]

These cookies, though? With a triple-punch of grapefruit, they are completely incapable of smelling anything but amazing.

Grapefruit Sugar

These perfectly chewy cookies are crispy along the outside edge and chewy in the center. The dough is infused with grapefruit sugar and a grapefruit juice reduction and then they are rolled in more grapefruit sugar.

Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

Have a safe and Merry Christmas! We’ll see you back here next week with some great appetizer and cocktail ideas for New Year’s Eve.

Chewy Grapefruit Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 grapefruit*
  • 1 1/4 cup butter, slightly softened
  • 2 eggs
  • *Choose grapefruit that have skin with pretty red-orange blush. You will use the zest from all 3 grapefruit and the juice from 1/2 grapefruit. Might I recommend juicing the remainder of the grapefruit for grapefruit margaritas?

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Zest the 3 grapefruit and add it to your mixer bowl with the sugar. Using your mixer, a spoon, or your fingers (your hands will smell awesome for hours!), really work the zest into the sugar for a couple of minutes - this releases the oils and flavors the sugar. I put the mixer on medium and let it do the work while I'm gathering the other ingredients.
  4. Remove 1/2 cup of the grapefruit sugar and place onto a a small shallow dish - you'll use this to coat the sugar cookie balls before baking.
  5. Add the butter to the remaining sugar and cream for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Juice 1/2 of the grapefruit - you'll end up with ~1/3 cup juice. Put the juice into a small sauce pan over high heat and reduce to 1 Tbsp of liquid. Remove from heat and swirl for a minute or two to bring closer to room temperature.
  7. Add the grapefruit reduction to the butter mixture and mix.
  8. Scrape down the bowl and add the two eggs until well blended.
  9. Add the dry ingredients and mix for 30-60 seconds on medium-high.
  10. Scoop the dough into balls and drop into the reserved grapefruit sugar, rolling and tapping off any excess.
  11. Place 8 cookies on each lined baking sheet and refrigerate the dough balls for 15 minutes. (I actually scoop it all at once, onto two plastic wrap-covered plates to get it over with).
  12. Bake for 10 minutes - the edges should be light brown and the centers will look pale and barely set - this is perfect.
  13. Leave the cookies on the pan to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  14. Store cookies in zipper bags for... I don't know. 5-7 days? They just never last that long around here.

Notes

Yields: 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Adapted from AllRecipes

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